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The Simpsons’ First Hourlong Episode Coming In 2017

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Today during Fox’s appearance at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, the network announced they would be airing the first Simpsons episode in 28 years to span an hour’s length of time.

Is there any particular reason, storywise, for this episode to last an hour? No reason we can see. Called “The Great Phatsby,” it is about Mr. Burns being conned out of business by a ruthless music tycoon and his plot for revenge afterward. In par-for-the-course fashion, he gains the spontaneous help of rapper Jazzy James (played by Keegan-Michael Key) and the villain’s ex-wife, Praline (Taraji P. Henson, in a similar role to her part on Empire).

In fact, as you might’ve guessed, the episode is in general a parody of Empire and was no doubt written when the rap industry drama was Fox’s hottest new show. But hey, at least they aren’t attempting a Sleepy Hollow parody right now.

Other coming attractions of the 297th Simpsons season include their six hundredth episode, which happens to fall on a Treehouse of Horror installment. Announced stories include a Hunger Games parody and a tale about Lisa’s imaginary friend returning to exact jealous vengeance on her real friends.

The hourlong episode will air this coming January. “I just pray it won’t be the last thing people see before a Trump inauguration,” said executive producer Al Jean.