DIS INFORMATION, MY TWO CENTS

An image of Lisa Simpson holding up a phone from the short Plusaversary.

As Disney+ Day turns into Disney+ Night, I thought I’d toss off some thoughts about The Big D’s lackluster non-event.

Why wasn’t there a livestream? A few weeks ago DC Comics had their second annual “FanDome,” a multi-hour livestream that touched on all the company’s upcoming projects and culminated in a new trailer for The Batman. Disney couldn’t have done the same? Instead they just dripped out new announcements in a Twitter thread, and then there were a couple short presentations from Pixar and Marvel added to Disney+. Oh, and they mentioned the wrong Will Smith, who continued to be tagged in every subsequent tweet. Weirdly amateurish for something that was supposedly a big deal for the company. Apparently they went all out at the theme parks and had giant balloons in major cities to promote this???

As for the new Simpsons short… eh, whatever. Seems like maybe it could’ve been a decent series of commercials back when Disney+ launched. “Look, all your favorite characters are together in one place.” Why wasn’t that their marketing campaign? Ah well. Also, I suspect they were using a fake mockup of the service as reference and nobody ever bothered to correct them.

In general, I feel David Silverman’s talents are being squandered on these shorts. Disney+ should just give him a huge budget and let him go hog wild.

Speaking of Simpsons shorts, where are the original shorts from The Tracey Ullman Show? I know it’s a long shot but I was kind of hoping for an announcement. Back when FXX launched Simpsons World, they tried and failed to get them. Disney+ should do what Simpsons Worldn’t: figure out what’s going on with the rights, fire their giant money bazooka at the problem, and get them out there. Now that would be a Disney+ Day miracle.

MEANINGLESS MILESTONES, SPRINGFIELD SHOPPER

An image of the Simpsons Season 1 DVD cover.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of The Simpsons: The Complete First Season DVD boxset in North America (tip of the hat to illustrator Bill Mudron for mentioning this). It was, for a time, the best selling TV show on DVD until it was eclipsed by Chappelle’s Show a few years later. Now that physical media has been rendered a relic by streaming services, let’s take this opportunity to look back at what’s been lost.
Continue Reading →

MY TWO CENTS

lisa simpson computer

Simpsons World, the much-anticipated Simpsons streaming service from FXX, just went live a few hours ago. Here’s my initial impressions of it. Please note I’m just using the web version, so I don’t know if there’s anything different about the mobile version.

Continue Reading →

FOX NEWS

simpsons rich

Scrappy cable underdog FXX landed a major deal with its fellow 21st Century Fox subsidiaries 20th Century Fox Television and Twentieth Television (which are different companies, somehow…?) for the exclusive cable and streaming rights to The Simpsons for ten years, and now a bunch of rich people are going to get richer, hooray! The deal is valued at $750 million, making it the largest off-network sale ever.

FXX is a terribly-named spinoff of FX that launched two months ago. It airs comedy shows like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, reruns of Parks & Recreation, and who knows what else. Next August, they’ll have every episode of The Simpsons. So many, they don’t quite know what to do with them:

FXX is expected to stack six to eight episodes on one or two nights, probably in thematic packages, rather than air them across the week as in traditional syndication.

Hey, I already made things easy for them! Imagine a whole night of those dumb trilogy episodes where historical/fictional figures are replaced with Simpsons characters.

Additionally, every episode will be available streaming on demand:

Deal also calls for the vast archive of “Simpsons” segs to be available on VOD via the soon-to-launch authenticated FXNow mobile viewing app — which is sure to be a draw for the service as “Simpsons” segs have never been widely distributed online and have never been on any SVOD platform.

Well, not legally – in a weird coincidence, the internet’s most popular Simpsons streaming site shut down just a few weeks ago. Naturally, to use FXNow you’ll have to prove you’re a cable subscriber and not one of those freeloading hippie cord-cutter types. Meanwhile, local stations have run out of good seasons to air:

Most local stations have used up all of their allotted runs of older seasons of the show, even as they get access to the most recent episodes after the conclusion of each season on the Fox network.

Haw haw, nobody wants the newer episodes.

Harry Shearer is bitter because the official press release about the deal names eleven executives – John Landgraf, Chuck Saftler, Gary Newman, Dana Walden, Greg Meidel, Steve MacDonald, James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Al Jean, Chris Antola, and Lori Bernstein – and zero cast members. Shearer and the rest of the cast won’t get to share in the profits, and neither will the animators, who continue to deal with pay reductions, shortened production schedules, and longer layoffs.

[Variety]

WAGON TRAIN, WEB-WATCH

wagon trainEveryone knows that one of the major causes of the writers’ strike was the fact that writers were not being compensated for profits made from online distribution. Rather than waiting to see how negotiations would turn out, News Corp. and NBC Universal launched the private beta of their YouTube rival Hulu at the end of October (I didn’t get my invite until like a few days ago, so whatever). Hulu features clips and full episodes of all your favorite Fox and NBC shows, including The Simpsons, with some fairly annoying ads for the upcoming movie Hitman built in. It’s actually a nice, clean interface, and you actually the option to turn on subtitles. As of right now, the Simpsons category only has full episodes from Season 19, as well as some 60-odd clips from Seasons 1 – 7, some of which are just couch gags.

So while you’re waiting for the strike to end, you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy all your favorite Fox/NBC-owned content, with the knowledge that none of that ad money is going to the writers. [Hulu]