The Simpsons

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This article is about the television series. The Simpsons_sentence_0

For the franchise, see The Simpsons (franchise). The Simpsons_sentence_1

For other uses, see The Simpsons (disambiguation). The Simpsons_sentence_2

The Simpsons_table_infobox_0

The SimpsonsThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_0_0
GenreThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_1_0 Animated sitcomThe Simpsons_cell_0_1_1
Created byThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_2_0 Matt GroeningThe Simpsons_cell_0_2_1
Based onThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_3_0 The Simpsons shorts

by Matt GroeningThe Simpsons_cell_0_3_1

Developed byThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_4_0 The Simpsons_cell_0_4_1
Voices ofThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_5_0 The Simpsons_cell_0_5_1
Theme music composerThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_6_0 Danny ElfmanThe Simpsons_cell_0_6_1
Opening themeThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_7_0 "The Simpsons Theme"The Simpsons_cell_0_7_1
ComposersThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_8_0 Richard Gibbs (1989–1990)

Alf Clausen (1990–2017) Bleeding Fingers Music (2017–present)The Simpsons_cell_0_8_1

Country of originThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_9_0 United StatesThe Simpsons_cell_0_9_1
Original languageThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_10_0 EnglishThe Simpsons_cell_0_10_1
No. of seasonsThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_11_0 32The Simpsons_cell_0_11_1
No. of episodesThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_12_0 693 (list of episodes)The Simpsons_cell_0_12_1
ProductionThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_13_0
Executive producerThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_14_0 ListThe Simpsons_cell_0_14_1
Running timeThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_15_0 21–24 minutesThe Simpsons_cell_0_15_1
Production companiesThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_16_0 The Simpsons_cell_0_16_1
DistributorThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_17_0 The Simpsons_cell_0_17_1
ReleaseThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_18_0
Original networkThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_19_0 FoxThe Simpsons_cell_0_19_1
Picture formatThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_20_0 480i 4:3 SDTV (1989–2009)

1080i 16:9 (HDTV) (2009–present)The Simpsons_cell_0_20_1

Audio formatThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_21_0 Stereo (1989–1991)

Dolby Surround (1991–2009) Dolby Digital (2009–present)The Simpsons_cell_0_21_1

Original releaseThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_22_0 December 17, 1989 (1989-12-17) –

presentThe Simpsons_cell_0_22_1

ChronologyThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_23_0
Preceded byThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_24_0 The Simpsons shorts from The Tracey Ullman ShowThe Simpsons_cell_0_24_1
External linksThe Simpsons_header_cell_0_25_0

The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The Simpsons_sentence_3

The series is a satirical depiction of American life, epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The Simpsons_sentence_4

The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture and society, television, and the human condition. The Simpsons_sentence_5

The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a solicitation for a series of animated shorts with producer James L. Brooks. The Simpsons_sentence_6

Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after his own family members, substituting Bart for his own name; he thought Simpson was a funny name in that it had the word "simp" in it, which is short for "simpleton". The Simpsons_sentence_7

The shorts became a part of The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. The Simpsons_sentence_8

After three seasons, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime time show and became Fox's first series to land in the Top 30 ratings in a season (1989–1990). The Simpsons_sentence_9

Since its debut on December 17, 1989, 693 episodes of The Simpsons have been broadcast. The Simpsons_sentence_10

It is the longest-running American sitcom, and the longest-running American scripted primetime television series, both in terms of seasons and number of episodes. The Simpsons_sentence_11

A feature-length film, The Simpsons Movie, was released in theaters worldwide on July 27, 2007, and grossed over $527 million. The Simpsons_sentence_12

On October 30, 2007, a video game was released. The Simpsons_sentence_13

The Simpsons was renewed on February 6, 2019 for a thirty-first and thirty-second season. The Simpsons_sentence_14

The former began airing September 29, 2019 and concluded on May 17, 2020; the latter will include the show’s 700th episode. The Simpsons_sentence_15

The Simpsons is a joint production by Gracie Films and 20th Television. The Simpsons_sentence_16

The Simpsons received acclaim throughout its first nine or ten seasons, which are generally considered its "golden age". The Simpsons_sentence_17

Since then, it has been criticized for a perceived decline in quality. The Simpsons_sentence_18

Time named it the 20th century's best television series, and Erik Adams of The A.V. The Simpsons_sentence_19 Club named it "television's crowning achievement regardless of format". The Simpsons_sentence_20

On January 14, 2000, the Simpson family was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Simpsons_sentence_21

It has won dozens of awards since it debuted as a series, including 34 Primetime Emmy Awards, 34 Annie Awards, and 2 Peabody Awards. The Simpsons_sentence_22

Homer's exclamatory catchphrase "D'oh!" The Simpsons_sentence_23

has been adopted into the English language, while The Simpsons has influenced many other later adult-oriented animated sitcoms. The Simpsons_sentence_24

Premise The Simpsons_section_0

Characters The Simpsons_section_1

Main article: List of The Simpsons characters The Simpsons_sentence_25

The Simpsons is known for its wide ensemble of main and supporting characters (ensemble cast). The Simpsons_sentence_26

The main characters are the Simpson family, who live in a fictional "Middle America" town of Springfield. The Simpsons_sentence_27

Homer, the father, works as a safety inspector at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, a position at odds with his careless, buffoonish personality. The Simpsons_sentence_28

He is married to Marge Bouvier, a stereotypical American housewife and mother. The Simpsons_sentence_29

They have three children: Bart, a ten-year-old troublemaker and prankster; Lisa, a precocious eight-year-old activist; and Maggie, the baby of the family who rarely speaks, but communicates by sucking on a pacifier. The Simpsons_sentence_30

Although the family is dysfunctional, many episodes examine their relationships and bonds with each other and they are often shown to care about one another. The Simpsons_sentence_31

Homer's dad Grampa Simpson lives in the Springfield Retirement Home after Homer forced his dad to sell his house so that his family could buy theirs. The Simpsons_sentence_32

Grampa Simpson has had starring roles in several episodes. The Simpsons_sentence_33

The family also owns a dog, Santa's Little Helper, and a cat, Snowball V, renamed Snowball II in "I, (Annoyed Grunt)-Bot". The Simpsons_sentence_34

Both pets have had starring roles in several episodes. The Simpsons_sentence_35

The show includes an array of quirky supporting characters, which include Homer's co-workers (also friends) Lenny Leonard and Carl Carlson, the school principal Seymour Skinner and teachers Edna Krabappel and Elizabeth Hoover, neighbor Ned Flanders, friends Barney Gumble, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Milhouse Van Houten, and Nelson Muntz, extended relatives Patty and Selma Bouvier, townspeople such as Mayor Quimby, Chief Clancy Wiggum, tycoon Charles Montgomery Burns and his executive assistant Waylon Smithers, and local celebrities Krusty the Clown and news reporter Kent Brockman. The Simpsons_sentence_36

The creators originally intended many of these characters as one-time jokes or for fulfilling needed functions in the town. The Simpsons_sentence_37

A number of them have gained expanded roles and subsequently starred in their own episodes. The Simpsons_sentence_38

According to Matt Groening, the show adopted the concept of a large supporting cast from the comedy show SCTV. The Simpsons_sentence_39

Continuity and the floating timeline The Simpsons_section_2

Despite the depiction of yearly milestones such as holidays or birthdays passing, the characters do not age between episodes (either physically or in stated age), and generally appear just as they did when the series began. The Simpsons_sentence_40

The series uses a floating timeline in which episodes generally take place in the year the episode is produced even though the characters do not age. The Simpsons_sentence_41

Flashbacks and flashforwards do occasionally depict the characters at other points in their lives, with the timeline of these depictions also generally floating relative to the year the episode is produced. The Simpsons_sentence_42

For example, in the 1991 episode "I Married Marge", Bart (who is always 10 years old) appears to be born in 1980 or 1981. The Simpsons_sentence_43

But in the 1995 episode "And Maggie Makes Three", Maggie (who always appears to be around 1 year old) appears to be born in 1993 or 1994. The Simpsons_sentence_44

In the 1992 episode "Lisa's First Word", Lisa (who is always 8) is shown to have been born in 1984. The Simpsons_sentence_45

A canon of the show does exist, although Treehouse of Horror episodes and any fictional story told within the series are typically non-canon. The Simpsons_sentence_46

However, continuity is inconsistent and limited in The Simpsons. The Simpsons_sentence_47

For example, Krusty the Clown may be able to read in one episode, but not in another – however he is consistently portrayed as being Jewish and that his rabbi father has since died. The Simpsons_sentence_48

Lessons learned by the family in one episode may be forgotten in the next. The Simpsons_sentence_49

Some examples of limited continuity include Sideshow Bob's appearances where Bart and Lisa flashback at all the crimes he committed in Springfield or when the characters try to remember things that happened in previous episodes. The Simpsons_sentence_50

Setting The Simpsons_section_3

Main article: Springfield (The Simpsons) The Simpsons_sentence_51

The Simpsons takes place in the fictional American town of Springfield in an unknown and impossible-to-determine U.S. state. The Simpsons_sentence_52

The show is intentionally evasive in regard to Springfield's location. The Simpsons_sentence_53

Springfield's geography, and that of its surroundings, contains coastlines, deserts, vast farmland, tall mountains, or whatever the story or joke requires. The Simpsons_sentence_54

Groening has said that Springfield has much in common with Portland, Oregon, the city where he grew up. The Simpsons_sentence_55

The name "Springfield" is a common one in America and appears in at least 29 states. The Simpsons_sentence_56

Groening has said that he named it after Springfield, Oregon, and the fictitious Springfield which was the setting of the series Father Knows Best. The Simpsons_sentence_57

He "figured out that Springfield was one of the most common names for a city in the U.S. The Simpsons_sentence_58

In anticipation of the success of the show, I thought, 'This will be cool; everyone will think it's their Springfield.' The Simpsons_sentence_59

And they do." The Simpsons_sentence_60

Production The Simpsons_section_4

Development The Simpsons_section_5

Main articles: History of The Simpsons and The Simpsons shorts The Simpsons_sentence_61

When producer James L. Brooks was working on the television variety show The Tracey Ullman Show, he decided to include small animated sketches before and after the commercial breaks. The Simpsons_sentence_62

Having seen one of cartoonist Matt Groening's Life in Hell comic strips, Brooks asked Groening to pitch an idea for a series of animated shorts. The Simpsons_sentence_63

Groening initially intended to present an animated version of his Life in Hell series. The Simpsons_sentence_64

However, Groening later realized that animating Life in Hell would require the rescinding of publication rights for his life's work. The Simpsons_sentence_65

He therefore chose another approach while waiting in the lobby of Brooks's office for the pitch meeting, hurriedly formulating his version of a dysfunctional family that became the Simpsons. The Simpsons_sentence_66

He named the characters after his own family members, substituting "Bart" for his own name, adopting an anagram of the word brat. The Simpsons_sentence_67

The Simpson family first appeared as shorts in The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. The Simpsons_sentence_68

Groening submitted only basic sketches to the animators and assumed that the figures would be cleaned up in production. The Simpsons_sentence_69

However, the animators merely re-traced his drawings, which led to the crude appearance of the characters in the initial shorts. The Simpsons_sentence_70

The animation was produced domestically at Klasky Csupo, with Wes Archer, David Silverman, and Bill Kopp being animators for the first season. The Simpsons_sentence_71

Colorist Georgie Peluse was the person who decided to make the characters yellow. The Simpsons_sentence_72

In 1989, a team of production companies adapted The Simpsons into a half-hour series for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The Simpsons_sentence_73

The team included the Klasky Csupo animation house. The Simpsons_sentence_74

Brooks negotiated a provision in the contract with the Fox network that prevented Fox from interfering with the show's content. The Simpsons_sentence_75

Groening said his goal in creating the show was to offer the audience an alternative to what he called "the mainstream trash" that they were watching. The Simpsons_sentence_76

The half-hour series premiered on December 17, 1989, with "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". The Simpsons_sentence_77

"Some Enchanted Evening" was the first full-length episode produced, but it did not broadcast until May 1990, as the last episode of the first season, because of animation problems. The Simpsons_sentence_78

In 1992, Tracey Ullman filed a lawsuit against Fox, claiming that her show was the source of the series' success. The Simpsons_sentence_79

The suit said she should receive a share of the profits of The Simpsons—a claim rejected by the courts. The Simpsons_sentence_80

Executive producers and showrunners The Simpsons_section_6

Matt Groening and James L. Brooks have served as executive producers during the show's entire history, and also function as creative consultants. The Simpsons_sentence_81

Sam Simon, described by former Simpsons director Brad Bird as "the unsung hero" of the show, served as creative supervisor for the first four seasons. The Simpsons_sentence_82

He was constantly at odds with Groening, Brooks and the show's production company Gracie Films and left in 1993. The Simpsons_sentence_83

Before leaving, he negotiated a deal that sees him receive a share of the profits every year, and an executive producer credit despite not having worked on the show since 1993, at least until his passing in 2015. The Simpsons_sentence_84

A more involved position on the show is the showrunner, who acts as head writer and manages the show's production for an entire season. The Simpsons_sentence_85

Writing The Simpsons_section_7

Main article: List of The Simpsons writers The Simpsons_sentence_86

The first team of writers, assembled by Sam Simon, consisted of John Swartzwelder, Jon Vitti, George Meyer, Jeff Martin, Al Jean, Mike Reiss, Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky. The Simpsons_sentence_87

Newer Simpsons' writing teams typically consist of sixteen writers who propose episode ideas at the beginning of each December. The Simpsons_sentence_88

The main writer of each episode writes the first draft. The Simpsons_sentence_89

Group rewriting sessions develop final scripts by adding or removing jokes, inserting scenes, and calling for re-readings of lines by the show's vocal performers. The Simpsons_sentence_90

Until 2004, George Meyer, who had developed the show since the first season, was active in these sessions. The Simpsons_sentence_91

According to long-time writer Jon Vitti, Meyer usually invented the best lines in a given episode, even though other writers may receive script credits. The Simpsons_sentence_92

Each episode takes six months to produce so the show rarely comments on current events. The Simpsons_sentence_93

Credited with sixty episodes, John Swartzwelder is the most prolific writer on The Simpsons. The Simpsons_sentence_94

One of the best-known former writers is Conan O'Brien, who contributed to several episodes in the early 1990s before replacing David Letterman as host of the talk show Late Night. The Simpsons_sentence_95

English comedian Ricky Gervais wrote the episode "Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife", becoming the first celebrity to both write and guest star in the same episode. The Simpsons_sentence_96

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, writers of the film Superbad, wrote the episode "Homer the Whopper", with Rogen voicing a character in it. The Simpsons_sentence_97

At the end of 2007, the writers of The Simpsons went on strike together with the other members of the Writers Guild of America, East. The Simpsons_sentence_98

The show's writers had joined the guild in 1998. The Simpsons_sentence_99

Voice actors The Simpsons_section_8

Main articles: List of The Simpsons cast members, List of The Simpsons guest stars, and Non-English versions of The Simpsons The Simpsons_sentence_100

The Simpsons has six main cast members: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, and Harry Shearer. The Simpsons_sentence_101

Castellaneta voices Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, Mayor Quimby, Barney Gumble, and other adult, male characters. The Simpsons_sentence_102

Julie Kavner voices Marge Simpson and Patty and Selma, as well as several minor characters. The Simpsons_sentence_103

Castellaneta and Kavner had been a part of The Tracey Ullman Show cast and were given the parts so that new actors would not be needed. The Simpsons_sentence_104

Cartwright voices Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum and other children. The Simpsons_sentence_105

Smith, the voice of Lisa Simpson, is the only cast member who regularly voices only one character, although she occasionally plays other episodic characters. The Simpsons_sentence_106

The producers decided to hold casting for the roles of Bart and Lisa. The Simpsons_sentence_107

Smith had initially been asked to audition for the role of Bart, but casting director Bonita Pietila believed her voice was too high, so she was given the role of Lisa instead. The Simpsons_sentence_108

Cartwright was originally brought in to voice Lisa, but upon arriving at the audition, she found that Lisa was simply described as the "middle child" and at the time did not have much personality. The Simpsons_sentence_109

Cartwright became more interested in the role of Bart, who was described as "devious, underachieving, school-hating, irreverent, [and] clever". The Simpsons_sentence_110

Groening let her try out for the part instead, and upon hearing her read, gave her the job on the spot. The Simpsons_sentence_111

Cartwright is the only one of the six main Simpsons cast members who had been professionally trained in voice acting prior to working on the show. The Simpsons_sentence_112

Azaria and Shearer do not voice members of the title family, but play a majority of the male townspeople. The Simpsons_sentence_113

Azaria, who has been a part of the Simpsons regular voice cast since the second season, voices recurring characters such as Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon and Professor Frink. The Simpsons_sentence_114

Shearer provides voices for Mr. The Simpsons_sentence_115 Burns, Mr. The Simpsons_sentence_116 Smithers, Principal Skinner, Ned Flanders, Reverend Lovejoy and Dr. The Simpsons_sentence_117 Hibbert. The Simpsons_sentence_118

Every main cast member has won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance. The Simpsons_sentence_119

With one exception, episode credits list only the voice actors, and not the characters they voice. The Simpsons_sentence_120

Both Fox and the production crew wanted to keep their identities secret during the early seasons and, therefore, closed most of the recording sessions while refusing to publish photos of the recording artists. The Simpsons_sentence_121

However, the network eventually revealed which roles each actor performed in the episode "Old Money", because the producers said the voice actors should receive credit for their work. The Simpsons_sentence_122

In 2003, the cast appeared in an episode of Inside the Actors Studio, doing live performances of their characters' voices. The Simpsons_sentence_123

The six main actors were paid $30,000 per episode until 1998, when they were involved in a pay dispute with Fox. The Simpsons_sentence_124

The company threatened to replace them with new actors, even going as far as preparing for casting of new voices, but series creator Groening supported the actors in their action. The Simpsons_sentence_125

The issue was soon resolved and, from 1998 to 2004, they were paid $125,000 per episode. The Simpsons_sentence_126

The show's revenue continued to rise through syndication and DVD sales, and in April 2004 the main cast stopped appearing for script readings, demanding they be paid $360,000 per episode. The Simpsons_sentence_127

The strike was resolved a month later and their salaries were increased to something between $250,000 and $360,000 per episode. The Simpsons_sentence_128

In 2008, production for the twentieth season was put on hold due to new contract negotiations with the voice actors, who wanted a "healthy bump" in salary to an amount close to $500,000 per episode. The Simpsons_sentence_129

The negotiations were soon completed, and the actors' salary was raised to $400,000 per episode. The Simpsons_sentence_130

Three years later, with Fox threatening to cancel the series unless production costs were cut, the cast members accepted a 30 percent pay cut, down to just over $300,000 per episode. The Simpsons_sentence_131

In addition to the main cast, Pamela Hayden, Tress MacNeille, Marcia Wallace, Maggie Roswell, and Russi Taylor voice supporting characters. The Simpsons_sentence_132

From 1999 to 2002, Roswell's characters were voiced by Marcia Mitzman Gaven. The Simpsons_sentence_133

Karl Wiedergott has also appeared in minor roles, but does not voice any recurring characters. The Simpsons_sentence_134

Wiedergott left the show in 2010, and since then Chris Edgerly has appeared regularly to voice minor characters. The Simpsons_sentence_135

Repeat "special guest" cast members include Albert Brooks, Phil Hartman, Jon Lovitz, Joe Mantegna, Maurice LaMarche, and Kelsey Grammer. The Simpsons_sentence_136

Following Hartman's death in 1998, the characters he voiced (Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz) were retired; Wallace's character of Edna Krabappel was retired as well after her death in 2013. The Simpsons_sentence_137

Following Taylor's death in 2019, her characters (including Sherri, Terri, and Martin Prince) are now voiced by Grey Griffin. The Simpsons_sentence_138

Episodes will quite often feature guest voices from a wide range of professions, including actors, athletes, authors, bands, musicians and scientists. The Simpsons_sentence_139

In the earlier seasons, most of the guest stars voiced characters, but eventually more started appearing as themselves. The Simpsons_sentence_140

Tony Bennett was the first guest star to appear as himself, appearing briefly in the season two episode "Dancin' Homer". The Simpsons_sentence_141

The Simpsons holds the world record for "Most Guest Stars Featured in a Television Series". The Simpsons_sentence_142

The Simpsons has been dubbed into several other languages, including Japanese, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. The Simpsons_sentence_143

It is also one of the few programs dubbed in both standard French and Quebec French. The Simpsons_sentence_144

The show has been broadcast in Arabic, but due to Islamic customs, numerous aspects of the show have been changed. The Simpsons_sentence_145

For example, Homer drinks soda instead of beer and eats Egyptian beef sausages instead of hot dogs. The Simpsons_sentence_146

Because of such changes, the Arabized version of the series met with a negative reaction from the lifelong Simpsons fans in the area. The Simpsons_sentence_147

Animation The Simpsons_section_9

Several different U.S. and international studios animate The Simpsons. The Simpsons_sentence_148

Throughout the run of the animated shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show, the animation was produced domestically at Klasky Csupo. The Simpsons_sentence_149

With the debut of the series, because of an increased workload, Fox subcontracted production to several local and foreign studios. The Simpsons_sentence_150

These are AKOM, Anivision, Rough Draft Studios, USAnimation, and Toonzone Entertainment. The Simpsons_sentence_151

For the first three seasons, Klasky Csupo animated The Simpsons in the United States. The Simpsons_sentence_152

In 1992, the show's production company, Gracie Films, switched domestic production to Film Roman, who continued to animate the show until 2016. The Simpsons_sentence_153

In Season 14, production switched from traditional cel animation to digital ink and paint. The Simpsons_sentence_154

The first episode to experiment with digital coloring was "Radioactive Man" in 1995. The Simpsons_sentence_155

Animators used digital ink and paint during production of the season 12 episode "Tennis the Menace", but Gracie Films delayed the regular use of digital ink and paint until two seasons later. The Simpsons_sentence_156

The already completed "Tennis the Menace" was broadcast as made. The Simpsons_sentence_157

The production staff at the U.S. animation studio, Film Roman, draws storyboards, designs new characters, backgrounds, props and draws character and background layouts, which in turn become animatics to be screened for the writers at Gracie Films for any changes to be made before the work is shipped overseas. The Simpsons_sentence_158

The overseas studios then draw the inbetweens, ink and paint, and render the animation to tape before it is shipped back to the United States to be delivered to Fox three to four months later. The Simpsons_sentence_159

The series began high-definition production in Season 20; the first episode, "Take My Life, Please", aired February 15, 2009. The Simpsons_sentence_160

The move to HDTV included a new opening sequence. The Simpsons_sentence_161

Matt Groening called it a complicated change because it affected the timing and composition of animation. The Simpsons_sentence_162

Themes The Simpsons_section_10

Main articles: Media in The Simpsons, Politics in The Simpsons, and Religion in The Simpsons The Simpsons_sentence_163

The Simpsons uses the standard setup of a situational comedy, or sitcom, as its premise. The Simpsons_sentence_164

The series centers on a family and their life in a typical American town, serving as a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle. The Simpsons_sentence_165

However, because of its animated nature, The Simpsons' scope is larger than that of a regular sitcom. The Simpsons_sentence_166

The town of Springfield acts as a complete universe in which characters can explore the issues faced by modern society. The Simpsons_sentence_167

By having Homer work in a nuclear power plant, the show can comment on the state of the environment. The Simpsons_sentence_168

Through Bart and Lisa's days at Springfield Elementary School, the show's writers illustrate pressing or controversial issues in the field of education. The Simpsons_sentence_169

The town features a vast array of media channels—from kids' television programming to local news, which enables the producers to make jokes about themselves and the entertainment industry. The Simpsons_sentence_170

Some commentators say the show is political in nature and susceptible to a left-wing bias. The Simpsons_sentence_171

Al Jean acknowledged in an interview that "We [the show] are of liberal bent." The Simpsons_sentence_172

The writers often evince an appreciation for progressive leanings, but the show makes jokes across the political spectrum. The Simpsons_sentence_173

The show portrays government and large corporations as evil entities that take advantage of the common worker. The Simpsons_sentence_174

Thus, the writers often portray authority figures in an unflattering or negative light. The Simpsons_sentence_175

In The Simpsons, politicians are corrupt, ministers such as Reverend Lovejoy are dismissive to churchgoers, and the local police force is incompetent. The Simpsons_sentence_176

Religion also figures as a recurring theme. The Simpsons_sentence_177

In times of crisis, the family often turns to God, and the show has dealt with most of the major religions. The Simpsons_sentence_178

Hallmarks The Simpsons_section_11

Opening sequence The Simpsons_section_12

Main article: The Simpsons opening sequence The Simpsons_sentence_179

The Simpsons' opening sequence is one of the show's most memorable hallmarks. The Simpsons_sentence_180

The standard opening has gone through three iterations (a replacement of some shots at the start of the second season, and a brand new sequence when the show switched to high-definition in 2009). The Simpsons_sentence_181

Each has the same basic sequence of events: the camera zooms through cumulus clouds, through the show's title towards the town of Springfield. The Simpsons_sentence_182

The camera then follows the members of the family on their way home. The Simpsons_sentence_183

Upon entering their house, the Simpsons settle down on their couch to watch television. The Simpsons_sentence_184

The original opening was created by David Silverman, and was the first task he did when production began on the show. The Simpsons_sentence_185

The series' distinctive theme song was composed by musician Danny Elfman in 1989, after Groening approached him requesting a retro style piece. The Simpsons_sentence_186

This piece has been noted by Elfman as the most popular of his career. The Simpsons_sentence_187

One of the most distinctive aspects of the opening is that three of its elements change from episode to episode: Bart writes different things on the school chalkboard, Lisa plays different solos on her saxophone (or occasionally a different instrument), and different gags accompany the family as they enter their living room to sit on the couch. The Simpsons_sentence_188

Halloween episodes The Simpsons_section_13

Main article: Treehouse of Horror The Simpsons_sentence_189

The special Halloween episode has become an annual tradition. The Simpsons_sentence_190

"Treehouse of Horror" first broadcast in 1990 as part of season two and established the pattern of three separate, self-contained stories in each Halloween episode. The Simpsons_sentence_191

These pieces usually involve the family in some horror, science fiction, or supernatural setting and often parody or pay homage to a famous piece of work in those genres. The Simpsons_sentence_192

They always take place outside the normal continuity of the show. The Simpsons_sentence_193

Although the Treehouse series is meant to be seen on Halloween, this changed by the 2000s (and again in 2020), when new installments have premiered after Halloween due to Fox's current contract with Major League Baseball's World Series.. The Simpsons_sentence_194

Prior to 2020 (between 2011 and 2019), every Treehouse of Horror episode had aired in October. The Simpsons_sentence_195

Humor The Simpsons_section_14

The show's humor turns on cultural references that cover a wide spectrum of society so that viewers from all generations can enjoy the show. The Simpsons_sentence_196

Such references, for example, come from movies, television, music, literature, science, and history. The Simpsons_sentence_197

The animators also regularly add jokes or sight gags into the show's background via humorous or incongruous bits of text in signs, newspapers, billboards, and elsewhere. The Simpsons_sentence_198

The audience may often not notice the visual jokes in a single viewing. The Simpsons_sentence_199

Some are so fleeting that they become apparent only by pausing a video recording of the show or viewing it in slow motion. The Simpsons_sentence_200

Kristin Thompson argues that The Simpsons uses a "flurry of cultural references, intentionally inconsistent characterization, and considerable self-reflexivity about television conventions and the status of the programme as a television show." The Simpsons_sentence_201

One of Bart's early hallmarks was his prank calls to Moe's Tavern owner Moe Szyslak in which Bart calls Moe and asks for a gag name. The Simpsons_sentence_202

Moe tries to find that person in the bar, but soon realizes it is a prank call and angrily threatens Bart. The Simpsons_sentence_203

These calls were apparently based on a series of prank calls known as the Tube Bar recordings, though Groening has denied any causal connection. The Simpsons_sentence_204

Moe was based partly on Tube Bar owner Louis "Red" Deutsch, whose often profane responses inspired Moe's violent side. The Simpsons_sentence_205

As the series progressed, it became more difficult for the writers to come up with a fake name and to write Moe's angry response, and the pranks were dropped as a regular joke during the fourth season. The Simpsons_sentence_206

The Simpsons also often includes self-referential humor. The Simpsons_sentence_207

The most common form is jokes about Fox Broadcasting. The Simpsons_sentence_208

For example, the episode "She Used to Be My Girl" included a scene in which a Fox News Channel van drove down the street while displaying a large "Bush Cheney 2004" banner and playing Queen's "We Are the Champions", in reference to the 2004 U.S. presidential election and claims of conservative bias in Fox News. The Simpsons_sentence_209

The show uses catchphrases, and most of the primary and secondary characters have at least one each. The Simpsons_sentence_210

Notable expressions include Homer's annoyed grunt "D'oh! The Simpsons_sentence_211 ", Mr. Burns' "Excellent" and Nelson Muntz's "Ha-ha!" The Simpsons_sentence_212

Some of Bart's catchphrases, such as "¡Ay, caramba! The Simpsons_sentence_213 ", "Don't have a cow, man!" The Simpsons_sentence_214

and "Eat my shorts!" The Simpsons_sentence_215

appeared on T-shirts in the show's early days. The Simpsons_sentence_216

However, Bart rarely used the latter two phrases until after they became popular through the merchandising. The Simpsons_sentence_217

The use of many of these catchphrases has declined in recent seasons. The Simpsons_sentence_218

The episode "Bart Gets Famous" mocks catchphrase-based humor, as Bart achieves fame on the Krusty the Clown Show solely for saying "I didn't do it." The Simpsons_sentence_219

Foreshadowing of actual events The Simpsons_section_15

The Simpsons has gained notoriety for jokes that eventually became reality. The Simpsons_sentence_220

Perhaps the most famous example comes from the episode "Bart to the Future", which mentions billionaire Donald Trump having been President of the United States at one time and leaving the nation broke. The Simpsons_sentence_221

The episode first aired in 2000, sixteen years before Trump was elected. The Simpsons_sentence_222

Another episode, "When You Dish Upon a Star", lampooned 20th Century Fox as a division of The Walt Disney Company. The Simpsons_sentence_223

Nineteen years later, Disney purchased Fox. The Simpsons_sentence_224

Other examples of The Simpsons predicting the future include the introduction of the Smartwatch, video chat services, autocorrection technology, and Lady Gaga's acrobatic performance at the Super Bowl LI halftime show. The Simpsons_sentence_225

Conversely, some fact-checking sources such as Snopes have debunked many of these claims, including the aforementioned Lady Gaga one. The Simpsons_sentence_226

Influence and legacy The Simpsons_section_16

Idioms The Simpsons_section_17

A number of neologisms that originated on The Simpsons have entered popular vernacular. The Simpsons_sentence_227

Mark Liberman, director of the Linguistic Data Consortium, remarked, "The Simpsons has apparently taken over from Shakespeare and the Bible as our culture's greatest source of idioms, catchphrases and sundry other textual allusions." The Simpsons_sentence_228

The most famous catchphrase is Homer's annoyed grunt: "D'oh!" The Simpsons_sentence_229

So ubiquitous is the expression that it is now listed in the Oxford English Dictionary, but without the apostrophe. The Simpsons_sentence_230

Dan Castellaneta says he borrowed the phrase from James Finlayson, an actor in many Laurel and Hardy comedies, who pronounced it in a more elongated and whining tone. The Simpsons_sentence_231

The staff of The Simpsons told Castellaneta to shorten the noise, and it went on to become the well-known exclamation in the television series. The Simpsons_sentence_232

Groundskeeper Willie's description of the French as "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" was used by National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg in 2003, after France's opposition to the proposed invasion of Iraq. The Simpsons_sentence_233

The phrase quickly spread to other journalists. The Simpsons_sentence_234

"Cromulent" and "embiggen", words used in "Lisa the Iconoclast", have since appeared in the Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon, and scientific journals respectively. The Simpsons_sentence_235

"Kwyjibo", a fake Scrabble word invented by Bart in "Bart the Genius", was used as one of the aliases of the creator of the Melissa worm. The Simpsons_sentence_236

"I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords", was used by Kent Brockman in "Deep Space Homer" and has become a snowclone, with variants of the utterance used to express obsequious submission. The Simpsons_sentence_237

It has been used in media, such as New Scientist magazine. The Simpsons_sentence_238

The dismissive term "Meh", believed to have been popularized by the show, entered the Collins English Dictionary in 2008. The Simpsons_sentence_239

Other words credited as stemming from the show include "yoink" and "craptacular". The Simpsons_sentence_240

The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations includes several quotations from the show. The Simpsons_sentence_241

As well as "cheese-eating surrender monkeys", Homer's lines, "Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The Simpsons_sentence_242

The lesson is never try", from "Burns' Heir" (season five, 1994) as well as "Kids are the best, Apu. The Simpsons_sentence_243

You can teach them to hate the things you hate. The Simpsons_sentence_244

And they practically raise themselves, what with the Internet and all", from "Eight Misbehavin'" (season 11, 1999), entered the dictionary in August 2007. The Simpsons_sentence_245

Many quotes/scenes have become popular Internet memes, including Jasper Beardley‘s quote "That's a paddlin’" from The PTA Disbands (season 6, 1995) and Steamed Hams from 22 Short Films About Springfield (season 7, 1996). The Simpsons_sentence_246

Television The Simpsons_section_18

The Simpsons was the first successful animated program in American prime time since Wait Till Your Father Gets Home in the 1970s. The Simpsons_sentence_247

During most of the 1980s, US pundits considered animated shows as appropriate only for children, and animating a show was too expensive to achieve a quality suitable for prime-time television. The Simpsons_sentence_248

The Simpsons changed this perception, initially leading to a short period where networks attempted to recreate prime-time cartoon success with shows like Capitol Critters, Fish Police, and Family Dog, which were expensive and unsuccessful. The Simpsons_sentence_249

The Simpsons' use of Korean animation studios for tweening, coloring, and filming made the episodes cheaper. The Simpsons_sentence_250

The success of The Simpsons and the lower production cost prompted US television networks to take chances on other adult animated series. The Simpsons_sentence_251

This development led US producers to a 1990s boom in new, animated prime-time shows for adults, such as Beavis and Butt-Head, South Park, Family Guy, King of the Hill, Futurama and The Critic. The Simpsons_sentence_252

For Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, "The Simpsons created an audience for prime-time animation that had not been there for many, many years ... As far as I'm concerned, they basically re-invented the wheel. The Simpsons_sentence_253

They created what is in many ways—you could classify it as—a wholly new medium." The Simpsons_sentence_254

The Simpsons has had crossovers with four other shows. The Simpsons_sentence_255

In the episode "A Star Is Burns", Marge invites Jay Sherman, the main character of The Critic, to be a judge for a film festival in Springfield. The Simpsons_sentence_256

Matt Groening had his name removed from the episode since he had no involvement with The Critic. The Simpsons_sentence_257

South Park later paid homage to The Simpsons with the episode "Simpsons Already Did It". The Simpsons_sentence_258

In "Simpsorama", the Planet Express crew from Futurama come to Springfield in the present to prevent the Simpsons from destroying the future. The Simpsons_sentence_259

In the Family Guy episode "The Simpsons Guy", the Griffins visit Springfield and meet the Simpsons. The Simpsons_sentence_260

The Simpsons has also influenced live-action shows like Malcolm in the Middle, which featured the use of sight gags and did not use a laugh track unlike most sitcoms. The Simpsons_sentence_261

Malcolm in the Middle debuted January 9, 2000, in the time slot after The Simpsons. The Simpsons_sentence_262

Ricky Gervais called The Simpsons an influence on The Office, and fellow British sitcom Spaced was, according to its director Edgar Wright, "an attempt to do a live-action The Simpsons." The Simpsons_sentence_263

In Georgia, the animated television sitcom The Samsonadzes, launched in November 2009, has been noted for its very strong resemblance with The Simpsons, which its creator Shalva Ramishvili has acknowledged. The Simpsons_sentence_264

Release The Simpsons_section_19

Broadcast The Simpsons_section_20

Main article: List of The Simpsons episodes The Simpsons_sentence_265

Syndication The Simpsons_section_21

The cable television network FXX has exclusive cable and digital syndication rights for The Simpsons. The Simpsons_sentence_266

Original contracts had previously stated that syndication rights for The Simpsons would not be sold to cable until the series conclusion, at a time when cable syndication deals were highly rare. The Simpsons_sentence_267

The series has been syndicated to local broadcast stations in nearly all markets throughout the United States since September 1993. The Simpsons_sentence_268

FXX premiered The Simpsons on their network on August 21, 2014 by starting a twelve-day marathon which featured the first 552 episodes (every single episode that had already been released at the time) aired chronologically, including The Simpsons Movie, which FX Networks had already owned the rights to air. The Simpsons_sentence_269

It was the longest continuous marathon in the history of television (until VH1 Classic aired a 433-hour, nineteen-day, marathon of Saturday Night Live in 2015; celebrating that program's 40th anniversary). The Simpsons_sentence_270

The first day of the marathon was the highest rated broadcast day in the history of the network so far, the ratings more than tripled that those of regular prime time programming for FXX. The Simpsons_sentence_271

Ratings during the first six nights of the marathon grew night after night, with the network ranking within the top 5 networks in basic cable each night. The Simpsons_sentence_272

In Australia, a marathon of every episode of the show (at the time) aired from December 16, 2019 to January 5, 2020 on Fox8 (a cable network operated on pay TV provider Foxtel and a corporate sibling to the American Fox network). The Simpsons_sentence_273

On May 14, 2019, it was announced that FX Networks would share The Simpsons with Freeform starting October 2, 2019. The Simpsons_sentence_274

Streaming and digital sell-through The Simpsons_section_22

On October 21, 2014, a digital service courtesy of the FXNOW app, called Simpsons World, launched. The Simpsons_sentence_275

Simpsons World with every episode of the series accessible to authenticated FX subscribers, and is available on game consoles such as Xbox One, streaming devices such as Roku and Apple TV, and online via web browser. The Simpsons_sentence_276

There was early criticism of both wrong aspect ratios for earlier episodes and the length of commercial breaks on the streaming service, but that problem was soon amended with fewer commercial breaks during individual episodes. The Simpsons_sentence_277

Later it was announced that Simpsons World would now let users watch all of the SD episodes in their original format. The Simpsons_sentence_278

Simpsons World was discontinued after the launch of Disney+ on November 12, 2019, where the series streams exclusively. The Simpsons_sentence_279

Initially, the series was only available cropped to 16:9 without the option to view the original 4:3 versions, reigniting criticisms of cropping old episodes. The Simpsons_sentence_280

In response, Disney announced that "... in early 2020, Disney+ will make the first 19 seasons (and some episodes from season 20) of The Simpsons available in their original 4:3 aspect ratio, giving subscribers a choice of how they prefer to view the popular series." The Simpsons_sentence_281

On May 28, 2020, Disney+ made the first 19 seasons, along with some episodes from season 20, of The Simpsons available in both 16:9 and the original 4:3 aspect ratio. The Simpsons_sentence_282

Season 31 came to Disney+ on October 2, 2020. The Simpsons_sentence_283

Hulu streams the latest episodes of season 31 next day. The Simpsons_sentence_284

The season 3 premiere "Stark Raving Dad", which features Michael Jackson as the voice of Leon Kompowsky, was pulled out of rotation in 2019 by Matt Groening, James L. Brooks and Al Jean after HBO aired the documentary Leaving Neverland, in which two men share details into how Jackson allegedly abused them as children. The Simpsons_sentence_285

It is therefore unavailable on Disney+. The Simpsons_sentence_286

However, the episode is still available on The Complete Third Season DVD box set released on August 26, 2003. The Simpsons_sentence_287

In July 2017, all episodes from seasons 4 to 19 were made available for purchase on the iTunes Store in Canada. The Simpsons_sentence_288

Reception and achievements The Simpsons_section_23

Early success The Simpsons_section_24

The Simpsons was the Fox network's first television series to rank among a season's top 30 highest-rated shows. The Simpsons_sentence_289

In 1990, Bart quickly became one of the most popular characters on television in what was termed "Bartmania". The Simpsons_sentence_290

He became the most prevalent Simpsons character on memorabilia, such as T-shirts. The Simpsons_sentence_291

In the early 1990s, millions of T-shirts featuring Bart were sold; as many as one million were sold on some days. The Simpsons_sentence_292

Believing Bart to be a bad role model, several American public schools banned T-shirts featuring Bart next to captions such as "I'm Bart Simpson. The Simpsons_sentence_293

Who the hell are you?" The Simpsons_sentence_294

and "Underachiever ('And proud of it, man!')". The Simpsons_sentence_295

The Simpsons merchandise sold well and generated $2 billion in revenue during the first 14 months of sales. The Simpsons_sentence_296

Because of his popularity, Bart was often the most promoted member of the Simpson family in advertisements for the show, even for episodes in which he was not involved in the main plot. The Simpsons_sentence_297

Due to the show's success, over the summer of 1990 the Fox Network decided to switch The Simpsons' time slot from 8:00 p.m. ET on Sunday night to the same time on Thursday, where it competed with The Cosby Show on NBC, the number one show at the time. The Simpsons_sentence_298

Through the summer, several news outlets published stories about the supposed "Bill vs. Bart" rivalry. The Simpsons_sentence_299

"Bart Gets an F" (season two, 1990) was the first episode to air against The Cosby Show, and it received a lower Nielsen ratings, tying for eighth behind The Cosby Show, which had an 18.5 rating. The Simpsons_sentence_300

The rating is based on the number of household televisions that were tuned into the show, but Nielsen Media Research estimated that 33.6 million viewers watched the episode, making it the number one show in terms of actual viewers that week. The Simpsons_sentence_301

At the time, it was the most watched episode in the history of the Fox Network, and it is still the highest rated episode in the history of The Simpsons. The Simpsons_sentence_302

The show moved back to its Sunday slot in 1994 and has remained there ever since. The Simpsons_sentence_303

The Simpsons has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics, and it has been noted for being described as "the most irreverent and unapologetic show on the air." The Simpsons_sentence_304

In a 1990 review of the show, Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly described it as "the American family at its most complicated, drawn as simple cartoons. The Simpsons_sentence_305

It's this neat paradox that makes millions of people turn away from the three big networks on Sunday nights to concentrate on The Simpsons." The Simpsons_sentence_306

Tucker also described the show as a "pop-cultural phenomenon, a prime-time cartoon show that appeals to the entire family." The Simpsons_sentence_307

Run length achievements The Simpsons_section_25

On February 9, 1997, The Simpsons surpassed The Flintstones with the episode "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show" as the longest-running prime-time animated series in the United States. The Simpsons_sentence_308

In 2004, The Simpsons replaced The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952 to 1966) as the longest-running sitcom (animated or live action) in the United States. The Simpsons_sentence_309

In 2009, The Simpsons surpassed The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet's record of 435 episodes and is now recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's longest running sitcom (in terms of episode count). The Simpsons_sentence_310

In October 2004, Scooby-Doo briefly overtook The Simpsons as the American animated show with the highest number of episodes (albeit under several different iterations). The Simpsons_sentence_311

However, network executives in April 2005 again cancelled Scooby-Doo, which finished with 371 episodes, and The Simpsons reclaimed the title with 378 episodes at the end of their seventeenth season. The Simpsons_sentence_312

In May 2007, The Simpsons reached their 400th episode at the end of the eighteenth season. The Simpsons_sentence_313

While The Simpsons has the record for the number of episodes by an American animated show, other animated series have surpassed The Simpsons. The Simpsons_sentence_314

For example, the Japanese anime series Sazae-san has over 7,000 episodes to its credit. The Simpsons_sentence_315

In 2009, Fox began a year-long celebration of the show titled "Best. The Simpsons_sentence_316

20 Years. The Simpsons_sentence_317

Ever." The Simpsons_sentence_318

to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the premiere of The Simpsons. The Simpsons_sentence_319

One of the first parts of the celebration is the "Unleash Your Yellow" contest in which entrants must design a poster for the show. The Simpsons_sentence_320

The celebration ended on January 10, 2010 (almost 20 years after "Bart the Genius" aired on January 14, 1990), with The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special – In 3-D! The Simpsons_sentence_321 On Ice! The Simpsons_sentence_322 , a documentary special by documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock that examines the "cultural phenomenon of The Simpsons". The Simpsons_sentence_323

As of the twenty-first season (2009–2010), The Simpsons became the longest-running American scripted primetime television series, having surpassed the 1955–1975 run of Gunsmoke. The Simpsons_sentence_324

On April 29, 2018, The Simpsons also surpassed Gunsmoke's 635-episode count with the episode "Forgive and Regret." The Simpsons_sentence_325

On February 6, 2019, it was announced that The Simpsons has been renewed for seasons 31 and 32. The Simpsons_sentence_326

Awards and honors The Simpsons_section_26

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by The Simpsons The Simpsons_sentence_327

The Simpsons has won dozens of awards since it debuted as a series, including 34 Primetime Emmy Awards, 34 Annie Awards and a Peabody Award. The Simpsons_sentence_328

In a 1999 issue celebrating the 20th century's greatest achievements in arts and entertainment, Time magazine named The Simpsons the century's best television series. The Simpsons_sentence_329

In that same issue, Time included Bart Simpson in the Time 100, the publication's list of the century's 100 most influential people. The Simpsons_sentence_330

Bart was the only fictional character on the list. The Simpsons_sentence_331

On January 14, 2000, the Simpsons were awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Simpsons_sentence_332

Also in 2000, Entertainment Weekly magazine TV critic Ken Tucker named The Simpsons the greatest television show of the 1990s. The Simpsons_sentence_333

Furthermore, viewers of the UK television channel Channel 4 have voted The Simpsons at the top of two polls: 2001's 100 Greatest Kids' TV shows, and 2005's The 100 Greatest Cartoons, with Homer Simpson voted into first place in 2001's 100 Greatest TV Characters. The Simpsons_sentence_334

Homer also placed ninth on Entertainment Weekly's list of the "50 Greatest TV icons". The Simpsons_sentence_335

In 2002, The Simpsons ranked No. The Simpsons_sentence_336

8 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time, and was ranked the #6 cult show in 2004. The Simpsons_sentence_337

In 2007, it moved to #8 on TV Guide's cult shows list and was included in Time's list of the "100 Best TV Shows of All Time". The Simpsons_sentence_338

In 2008 the show was placed in first on Entertainment Weekly's "Top 100 Shows of the Past 25 Years". The Simpsons_sentence_339

Empire named it the greatest TV show of all time. The Simpsons_sentence_340

In 2010, Entertainment Weekly named Homer "the greatest character of the last 20 years", while in 2013 the Writers Guild of America listed The Simpsons as the 11th "best written" series in television history. The Simpsons_sentence_341

In 2013, TV Guide ranked The Simpsons as the greatest TV cartoon of all time and the tenth greatest show of all time. The Simpsons_sentence_342

A 2015 The Hollywood Reporter survey of 2,800 actors, producers, directors, and other industry people named it as their #10 favorite show. The Simpsons_sentence_343

In 2015, British newspaper The Telegraph named The Simpsons as one of the 10 best TV sitcoms of all time. The Simpsons_sentence_344

Television critics Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz ranked The Simpsons as the greatest American TV series of all time in their 2016 book TV (The Book). The Simpsons_sentence_345

Criticism The Simpsons_section_27

Controversy The Simpsons_section_28

Bart's rebellious, bad boy nature, which underlies his misbehavior and rarely leads to any punishment, led some people to characterize him as a poor role model for children. The Simpsons_sentence_346

In schools, educators claimed that Bart was a "threat to learning" because of his "underachiever and proud of it" attitude and negative attitude regarding his education. The Simpsons_sentence_347

Others described him as "egotistical, aggressive and mean-spirited". The Simpsons_sentence_348

In a 1991 interview, Bill Cosby described Bart as a bad role model for children, calling him "angry, confused, frustrated". The Simpsons_sentence_349

In response, Matt Groening said, "That sums up Bart, all right. The Simpsons_sentence_350

Most people are in a struggle to be normal [and] he thinks normal is very boring, and does things that others just wished they dare do." The Simpsons_sentence_351

On January 27, 1992, then-President George H. W. Bush said, "We are going to keep on trying to strengthen the American family, to make American families a lot more like the Waltons and a lot less like the Simpsons." The Simpsons_sentence_352

The writers rushed out a tongue-in-cheek reply in the form of a short segment which aired three days later before a rerun of "Stark Raving Dad" in which Bart replied, "Hey, we're just like the Waltons. The Simpsons_sentence_353

We're praying for an end to the Depression, too." The Simpsons_sentence_354

Various episodes of the show have generated controversy. The Simpsons_sentence_355

The Simpsons visit Australia in "Bart vs. Australia" (season six, 1995) and Brazil in "Blame It on Lisa" (season 13, 2002) and both episodes generated controversy and negative reaction in the visited countries. The Simpsons_sentence_356

In the latter case, Rio de Janeiro's tourist board—which claimed that the city was portrayed as having rampant street crime, kidnappings, slums, and monkey and rat infestations—went so far as to threaten Fox with legal action. The Simpsons_sentence_357

Groening was a fierce and vocal critic of the episode "A Star Is Burns" (season six, 1995) which featured a crossover with The Critic. The Simpsons_sentence_358

He felt that it was just an advertisement for The Critic, and that people would incorrectly associate the show with him. The Simpsons_sentence_359

When he was unsuccessful in getting the episode pulled, he had his name removed from the credits and went public with his concerns, openly criticizing James L. Brooks and saying the episode "violates the Simpsons' universe." The Simpsons_sentence_360

In response, Brooks said, "I am furious with Matt, ... he's allowed his opinion, but airing this publicly in the press is going too far. The Simpsons_sentence_361

... his behavior right now is rotten." The Simpsons_sentence_362

"The Principal and the Pauper" (season nine, 1997) is one of the most controversial episodes of The Simpsons. The Simpsons_sentence_363

Many fans and critics reacted negatively to the revelation that Seymour Skinner, a recurring character since the first season, was an impostor. The Simpsons_sentence_364

The episode has been criticized by Groening and by Harry Shearer, who provides the voice of Skinner. The Simpsons_sentence_365

In a 2001 interview, Shearer recalled that after reading the script, he told the writers, "That's so wrong. The Simpsons_sentence_366

You're taking something that an audience has built eight years or nine years of investment in and just tossed it in the trash can for no good reason, for a story we've done before with other characters. The Simpsons_sentence_367

It's so arbitrary and gratuitous, and it's disrespectful to the audience." The Simpsons_sentence_368

In a subsequent interview in 2006, Shearer added, "Now, the writers refuse to talk about it. The Simpsons_sentence_369

They realize it was a horrible mistake. The Simpsons_sentence_370

They never mention it. The Simpsons_sentence_371

It's like they're punishing the audience for paying attention." The Simpsons_sentence_372

Ban The Simpsons_section_29

The show has reportedly been taken off the air in several countries. The Simpsons_sentence_373

China banned it from prime-time television in August 2006, "in an effort to protect China's struggling animation studios." The Simpsons_sentence_374

In 2008, Venezuela barred the show from airing on morning television as it was deemed "unsuitable for children". The Simpsons_sentence_375

The same year, several Russian Pentecostal churches demanded that The Simpsons, South Park and some other Western cartoons be removed from broadcast schedules "for propaganda of various vices" and the broadcaster's license to be revoked. The Simpsons_sentence_376

However, the court decision later dismissed this request. The Simpsons_sentence_377

Perceived decline in quality The Simpsons_section_30

Critics' reviews of early Simpsons episodes praised the show for its sassy humor, wit, realism, and intelligence. The Simpsons_sentence_378

However, in the late 1990s, around the airing of season 10, the tone and emphasis of the show began to change. The Simpsons_sentence_379

Some critics started calling the show "tired". The Simpsons_sentence_380

By 2000, some long-term fans had become disillusioned with the show, and pointed to its shift from character-driven plots to what they perceived as an overemphasis on zany antics. The Simpsons_sentence_381

Jim Schembri of The Sydney Morning Herald attributed the decline in quality to an abandonment of character-driven storylines in favor of celebrity cameo appearances and references to popular culture. The Simpsons_sentence_382

Schembri wrote in 2011: "The central tragedy of The Simpsons is that it has gone from commanding attention to merely being attention-seeking. The Simpsons_sentence_383

It began by proving that cartoon characters don't have to be caricatures; they can be invested with real emotions. The Simpsons_sentence_384

Now the show has in essence fermented into a limp parody of itself. The Simpsons_sentence_385

Memorable story arcs have been sacrificed for the sake of celebrity walk-ons and punchline-hungry dialogue." The Simpsons_sentence_386

In 2010, the BBC noted "the common consensus is that The Simpsons' golden era ended after season nine", and Todd Leopold of CNN, in an article looking at its perceived decline, stated "for many fans ... the glory days are long past." The Simpsons_sentence_387

Similarly, Tyler Wilson of Coeur d'Alene Press has referred to seasons one to nine as the show's "golden age", and Ian Nathan of Empire described the show's classic era as being "say, the first ten seasons." The Simpsons_sentence_388

Jon Heacock of LucidWorks stated that "for the first ten years [seasons], the show was consistently at the top of its game", with "so many moments, quotations, and references – both epic and obscure – that helped turn the Simpson family into the cultural icons that they remain to this day." The Simpsons_sentence_389

Mike Scully, who was showrunner during seasons nine through twelve, has been the subject of criticism. The Simpsons_sentence_390

Chris Suellentrop of Slate wrote that "under Scully's tenure, The Simpsons became, well, a cartoon ... Episodes that once would have ended with Homer and Marge bicycling into the sunset now end with Homer blowing a tranquilizer dart into Marge's neck. The Simpsons_sentence_391

The show's still funny, but it hasn't been touching in years." The Simpsons_sentence_392

When asked in 2007 how the series' longevity is sustained, Scully joked: "Lower your quality standards. The Simpsons_sentence_393

Once you've done that you can go on forever." The Simpsons_sentence_394

Al Jean, showrunner since season thirteen, has also been the subject of criticism, with some arguing that the show has continued to decline in quality under his tenure. The Simpsons_sentence_395

Former writers have complained that under Jean, the show is "on auto-pilot", "too sentimental", and the episodes are "just being cranked out." The Simpsons_sentence_396

Some critics believe that the show has "entered a steady decline under Jean and is no longer really funny." The Simpsons_sentence_397

John Ortved, author of The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History, characterized the Jean era as "toothless", and criticized what he perceived as the show's increase in social and political commentary. The Simpsons_sentence_398

Jean responded: "Well, it's possible that we've declined. The Simpsons_sentence_399

But honestly, I've been here the whole time and I do remember in season two people saying, 'It's gone downhill.' The Simpsons_sentence_400

If we'd listened to that then we would have stopped after episode 13. The Simpsons_sentence_401

I'm glad we didn't." The Simpsons_sentence_402

In 2004, cast member Harry Shearer criticized what he perceived as the show's declining quality: "I rate the last three seasons as among the worst, so season four looks very good to me now." The Simpsons_sentence_403

Cast member Dan Castellaneta responded: "I don't agree, ... The Simpsons_sentence_404

I think Harry's issue is that the show isn't as grounded as it was in the first three or four seasons, that it's gotten crazy or a little more madcap. The Simpsons_sentence_405

I think it organically changes to stay fresh." The Simpsons_sentence_406

Also in 2004 author Douglas Coupland described claims of declining quality in the series as "hogwash", saying "The Simpsons hasn't fumbled the ball in fourteen years, it's hardly likely to fumble it now." The Simpsons_sentence_407

In an April 2006 interview, Groening said: "I honestly don't see any end in sight. The Simpsons_sentence_408

I think it's possible that the show will get too financially cumbersome ... but right now, the show is creatively, I think, as good or better than it's ever been. The Simpsons_sentence_409

The animation is incredibly detailed and imaginative, the stories do things that we haven't done before, so creatively there's no reason to quit." The Simpsons_sentence_410

In 2016, popular culture writer Anna Leszkiewicz suggested that even though The Simpsons still holds cultural relevance, contemporary appeal is only for the first ten seasons, with recent episodes only garnering mainstream attention when a favorite character from the golden era is killed off, or when new information and shock twists are given for old characters. The Simpsons_sentence_411

The series' ratings have also declined; while the first season enjoyed an average of 13.4 million viewing households per episode in the U.S., the twenty-first season had an average of 7.2 million viewers. The Simpsons_sentence_412

Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz argued in their 2016 book titled TV (The Book) that the peak of The Simpsons are "roughly seasons [three through twelve]", and that despite the decline, episodes from the later seasons such as "Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind" and "Holidays of Future Passed" could be considered on par with the earlier classic episodes, further stating that "even if you want to call the show today a thin shadow of its former self, think about how mind-boggingly great its former self had to be for so-diminished a version to be watchable at all." The Simpsons_sentence_413

In 2020, Uproxx writer Josh Kurp stated that while he agrees with the sentiment that The Simpsons is not as good as it used to be, it is because "it was working at a level of comedy and characterization that no show ever has." The Simpsons_sentence_414

He felt there were still many reasons to watch the series, as it was "still capable of quality television, and even the occasional new classic" and the fact that the show was willing to experiment, giving examples such as bringing on guest animators like Don Hertzfeldt and Sylvain Chomet to produce couch gags, and guest writers like Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, Pete Holmes and Megan Amram to write episodes. The Simpsons_sentence_415

Race controversy The Simpsons_section_31

Further information: Apu Nahasapeemapetilon § Accusations of racial stereotyping The Simpsons_sentence_416

The stereotypical nature of the character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon has long been the subject of controversy. The Simpsons_sentence_417

This was particularly highlighted by Indian-American comedian Hari Kondabolu's 2017 documentary The Problem with Apu. The Simpsons_sentence_418

In the film, Kondabolu states that as a child he was a fan of The Simpsons and liked Apu, but he now finds the character's stereotypical nature troublesome. The Simpsons_sentence_419

Defenders of the character responded that the show is built on comical stereotypes, with creator Matt Groening saying, "that's the nature of cartooning." The Simpsons_sentence_420

He added that he was "proud of what we do on the show", and "it's a time in our culture where people love to pretend they're offended". The Simpsons_sentence_421

In response to the controversy, Apu's voice actor, Hank Azaria, said he was willing to step aside from his role as Apu: "The most important thing is to listen to South Asian people, Indian people in this country when they talk about what they feel and how they think about this character." The Simpsons_sentence_422

In February 2020, he confirmed that he would no longer voice Apu. The Simpsons_sentence_423

Groening stated at the same time that the character would remain in the show. The Simpsons_sentence_424

The criticisms were referenced in the season 29 episode "No Good Read Goes Unpunished", when Lisa breaks the fourth wall and addresses the audience by saying, "Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. The Simpsons_sentence_425

What can you do?" The Simpsons_sentence_426

to which Marge replies, "Some things will be addressed at a later date." The Simpsons_sentence_427

Lisa adds, "If at all." The Simpsons_sentence_428

This reference was clarified by the fact that there was a framed photo of Apu with the caption on the photo saying "Don't have a cow, Apu", a play on Bart's catchphrase "Don't have a cow, man," as well as the fact that Hindus do not eat cows as they are considered sacred. The Simpsons_sentence_429

In October 2018, it was reported that Apu would be written out of the show, which Groening denied. The Simpsons_sentence_430

On June 26, 2020, in light of the various Black Lives Matter protests, Fox announced that non-white characters (such as Carl Carlson and Dr. The Simpsons_sentence_431 Hibbert, among others) will no longer be voiced by white actors. The Simpsons_sentence_432

Beginning with season 32, Carl, a black character originally voiced by Azaria, is now voiced by black actor Alex Désert. The Simpsons_sentence_433

In addition, Bumblebee Man, a Spanish-speaking Hispanic character also originally voiced by Azaria, is now voiced by Cuban-American actor Eric Lopez. The Simpsons_sentence_434

Other media The Simpsons_section_32

Main article: The Simpsons (franchise) The Simpsons_sentence_435

Comic books The Simpsons_section_33

Main article: List of The Simpsons comics The Simpsons_sentence_436

Numerous Simpson-related comic books have been released over the years. The Simpsons_sentence_437

So far, nine comic book series have been published by Bongo Comics since 1993. The Simpsons_sentence_438

The first comic strips based on The Simpsons appeared in 1991 in the magazine Simpsons Illustrated, which was a companion magazine to the show. The Simpsons_sentence_439

The comic strips were popular and a one-shot comic book titled Simpsons Comics and Stories, containing four different stories, was released in 1993 for the fans. The Simpsons_sentence_440

The book was a success and due to this, the creator of The Simpsons, Matt Groening, and his companions Bill Morrison, Mike Rote, Steve Vance and Cindy Vance created the publishing company Bongo Comics. The Simpsons_sentence_441

Issues of Simpsons Comics, Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror and Bart Simpson have been collected and reprinted in trade paperbacks in the United States by HarperCollins. The Simpsons_sentence_442

Film The Simpsons_section_34

Main article: The Simpsons Movie The Simpsons_sentence_443

20th Century Fox, Gracie Films, and Film Roman produced The Simpsons Movie, an animated film that was released on July 27, 2007. The Simpsons_sentence_444

The film was directed by long-time Simpsons producer David Silverman and written by a team of Simpsons writers comprising Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, Al Jean, George Meyer, Mike Reiss, John Swartzwelder, Jon Vitti, David Mirkin, Mike Scully, Matt Selman, and Ian Maxtone-Graham. The Simpsons_sentence_445

Production of the film occurred alongside continued writing of the series despite long-time claims by those involved in the show that a film would enter production only after the series had concluded. The Simpsons_sentence_446

There had been talk of a possible feature-length Simpsons film ever since the early seasons of the series. The Simpsons_sentence_447

James L. Brooks originally thought that the story of the episode "Kamp Krusty" was suitable for a film, but he encountered difficulties in trying to expand the script to feature-length. The Simpsons_sentence_448

For a long time, difficulties such as lack of a suitable story and an already fully engaged crew of writers delayed the project. The Simpsons_sentence_449

On August 10, 2018, 20th Century Fox announced that a sequel is in development. The Simpsons_sentence_450

Music The Simpsons_section_35

Main article: The Simpsons discography The Simpsons_sentence_451

Collections of original music featured in the series have been released on the albums Songs in the Key of Springfield, Go Simpsonic with The Simpsons and The Simpsons: Testify. The Simpsons_sentence_452

Several songs have been recorded with the purpose of a single or album release and have not been featured on the show. The Simpsons_sentence_453

The album The Simpsons Sing the Blues was released in September 1990 and was a success, peaking at #3 on the Billboard 200 and becoming certified 2× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. The Simpsons_sentence_454

The first single from the album was the pop rap song "Do the Bartman", performed by Nancy Cartwright and released on November 20, 1990. The Simpsons_sentence_455

The song was written by Michael Jackson, although he did not receive any credit. The Simpsons_sentence_456

The Yellow Album was released in 1998, but received poor reception and did not chart in any country. The Simpsons_sentence_457

The Simpsons Ride The Simpsons_section_36

Main article: The Simpsons Ride The Simpsons_sentence_458

In 2007, it was officially announced that The Simpsons Ride, a simulator ride, would be implemented into the Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood. The Simpsons_sentence_459

It officially opened May 15, 2008 in Florida and May 19, 2008, in Hollywood. The Simpsons_sentence_460

In the ride, patrons are introduced to a cartoon theme park called Krustyland built by Krusty the Clown. The Simpsons_sentence_461

However, Sideshow Bob is loose from prison to get revenge on Krusty and the Simpson family. The Simpsons_sentence_462

It features more than 24 regular characters from The Simpsons and features the voices of the regular cast members, as well as Pamela Hayden, Russi Taylor and Kelsey Grammer. The Simpsons_sentence_463

Harry Shearer did not participate in the ride, so none of his characters has vocal parts. The Simpsons_sentence_464

Video games The Simpsons_section_37

Further information: List of The Simpsons video games The Simpsons_sentence_465

Numerous video games based on the show have been produced. The Simpsons_sentence_466

Some of the early games include Konami's arcade game The Simpsons (1991) and Acclaim Entertainment's The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants (1991). The Simpsons_sentence_467

More modern games include The Simpsons: Road Rage (2001), The Simpsons: Hit & Run (2003) and The Simpsons Game (2007). The Simpsons_sentence_468

Electronic Arts, which produced The Simpsons Game, has owned the exclusive rights to create video games based on the show since 2005. The Simpsons_sentence_469

In 2010, they released a game called The Simpsons Arcade for iOS. The Simpsons_sentence_470

Another EA-produced mobile game, Tapped Out, was released in 2012 for iOS users, then in 2013 for Android and Kindle users. The Simpsons_sentence_471

Two Simpsons pinball machines have been produced: one that was available briefly after the first season, and another in 2007, both out of production. The Simpsons_sentence_472

Merchandise The Simpsons_section_38

See also: List of The Simpsons books and List of The Simpsons home video releases The Simpsons_sentence_473

The popularity of The Simpsons has made it a billion-dollar merchandising industry. The Simpsons_sentence_474

The title family and supporting characters appear on everything from T-shirts to posters. The Simpsons_sentence_475

The Simpsons has been used as a theme for special editions of well-known board games, including Clue, Scrabble, Monopoly, Operation, and The Game of Life, as well as the trivia games What Would Homer Do? The Simpsons_sentence_476

and Simpsons Jeopardy!. The Simpsons_sentence_477

Several card games such as trump cards and The Simpsons Trading Card Game have also been released. The Simpsons_sentence_478

Many official or unofficial Simpsons books such as episode guides have been published. The Simpsons_sentence_479

Many episodes of the show have been released on DVD and VHS over the years. The Simpsons_sentence_480

When the first season DVD was released in 2001, it quickly became the best-selling television DVD in history, although it was later overtaken by the first season of Chappelle's Show. The Simpsons_sentence_481

In particular, seasons one through seventeen were released on DVD for 13 years between September 2001 to December 2014 in the U.S./Canada (Region 1), Europe (Region 2) and Australia/New Zealand/Latin America (Region 4). The Simpsons_sentence_482

However, on April 19, 2015, Al Jean announced that the Season 17 DVD would be the last one ever produced, leaving the collection from Seasons 1 to 17, Season 20 (released out of order in 2010), with Seasons 18, 19, and 21 onwards unreleased. The Simpsons_sentence_483

Jean also stated that the deleted scenes and commentaries would try to be released to the Simpsons World app, and that they were pushing for Simpsons World to be expanded outside of the U.S. Two years later, however, on July 22, 2017, it was announced that Season 18 would be released on December 5, 2017 on DVD. The Simpsons_sentence_484

Another two years later, on July 20, 2019, it was announced that Season 19 would be released on December 3, 2019 on DVD. The Simpsons_sentence_485

In 2003, about 500 companies around the world were licensed to use Simpsons characters in their advertising. The Simpsons_sentence_486

As a promotion for The Simpsons Movie, twelve 7-Eleven stores were transformed into Kwik-E-Marts and sold The Simpsons related products. The Simpsons_sentence_487

These included "Buzz Cola", "Krusty-O" cereal, pink doughnuts with sprinkles, and "Squishees". The Simpsons_sentence_488

In 2008, consumers around the world spent $750 million on merchandise related to The Simpsons, with half of the amount originating from the United States. The Simpsons_sentence_489

By 2009, 20th Century Fox had greatly increased merchandising efforts. The Simpsons_sentence_490

On April 9, 2009, the United States Postal Service unveiled a series of five 44-cent stamps featuring Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie, to commemorate the show's twentieth anniversary. The Simpsons_sentence_491

The Simpsons is the first television series still in production to receive this recognition. The Simpsons_sentence_492

The stamps, designed by Matt Groening, were made available for purchase on May 7, 2009. The Simpsons_sentence_493

Approximately one billion were printed, but only 318 million were sold, costing the Postal Service $1.2 million. The Simpsons_sentence_494


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The Simpsons.