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The Simpsons Renewed For 10,000 More Seasons

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There are two sentences in the entertainment business that are the least surprising of any. One is “The CW just renewed its entire lineup” and the other is “The Simpsons was just given another season.” In this case it’s been given TWO seasons, pushing it through 2023 and guaranteeing an episode count past 750. (The 700th episode is about to air later this month.)

“It’s a sincere pleasure to announce the Season 33 and 34 pick-ups for The Simpsons. We keep hoping that, eventually, they’ll get it right,” said Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier. Homer himself chimed in with “Woo Hoo! With any luck the show will soon be older than I am.” That’s not even a joke…Homer has always been implied to be around his early forties, and it won’t be much longer before the series gets there. If you count the Ullman years, it’ll pass 40 before the decade is out.

I think, in a lot of ways, the animated sitcom has replaced the newspaper comic strip as the mainstream choice of cartoon catharsis for millions of overworked Americans — and, in that sense, The Simpsons is the new Blondie. It’s been there forever, you might get a chuckle out of it now and then, but it will never be as innovative as it once was. Yet it’s also an institution and if you remove it people will get upset, even if they don’t pay much attention to it.

Like the most successful comic strips, the most successful animated shows have a tendency to go on well past their sell-by date. Both the syndicates and the TV networks know how hard it is to get a cartoon established in pop culture, and once they have one, they want to keep it going as long as they can. Because of this, the dinosaurs end up taking most of the limited space and it’s difficult for new talent to break through.

But at least Fox is trying, bringing in new cartoons even though they may not get the ratings. I suspect without anchors like The Simpsons in place to boost them, the task would be much harder.