The longest-running primetime scripted show in television history has just gotten longer. Fox has renewed The Simpsons for an unprecedented 31st and 32nd seasons. The renewal takes the hit animated series to yet another record 713 episodes.
The renewal also erases any doubts that Fox is committed to keeping its signature animated series after their producer, 20th Century Fox TV, moves to Disney following the completion of the $71.3 billion acquisition. Of the other two veteran Fox animated shows, Family Guy is locked for the next two seasons, while Bob’s Burgers is set for the next year.
While Fox Broadcasting Co, is said to have been losing money on The Simpsons as shows get more expensive with age, it is a legacy series for the network, and I hear there has been a slight license fee reduction for the animated show, which is a huge profit generator for 20th TV.
I hear the cast of The Simpsons have been signed for the two additional seasons.
Animation has been a big priority for Fox, which has ordered two new animated series for next season and plans to expand in a major way its animated franchise with The Simpsons, Family Guy and Bob’s Burgers as cornerstones.
Meanwhile, 20th TV’s new corporate sibling broadcast network, ABC, is not in the primetime animation business and has no current plans to get into that space. Additionally, it is female skewing, while Fox’s animated shows have stronger male appeal. Of course, there is always a possibility for the 20th TV animated series to jump to a Disney-owned platform as streaming originals one day but, as The Simpsons renewal indicates, that is not in the cards for the foreseeable future. (The Simpsons currently has a $750 million multi-platform off-network deal with FX)
Throughout its long run, the series has drawn solid and consistent ratings. This season, The Simpsons is averaging a 1.9/7 among adults 18-49 and 4.8 million total viewers. Through January 20, The Simpsons has a multi-platform average audience of 7.5 million total viewers, an 82% gain from its Live+Same Day delivery (7.5M vs. 4.2M). In its 30th season, the series ranks as one of the Top 5 comedies among adults 18-49(tie) and the No. 2 comedy among adults 18-34(tie). Among broadcast series, The Simpsons ranks among the season’s Top 5 among men 18-49(tie), Top 20 among adults 18-34 and as the No. 2 broadcast series overall among men 18-34(tie). Additionally, the January 13 “The Girl on the Bus” episode had a 3.5 L7 rating among adults 18-49, making it the highest-rated episode of any scripted series in that demo on Fox this year.
The Simpsons exploded into a cultural phenomenon in 1990 and has remained one of the most groundbreaking and innovative entertainment franchises, recognizable throughout the world.Currently in its 30th season, The Simpsons has won 33 Emmy Awards, 34 Annie Awards, a 2016 People’s Choice Award and a 2016 Environmental Media Award. It was the first animated series to win a Peabody Award and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2012 for the theatrical short The Longest Daycare. The series also has spawned a hit movie and an Universal Studios ride and was honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2000.
Even Homer himself weighed in on the record renewal. “Woo hoo! 32 Seasons! Watch your back ‘Meet the Press,’” he said.
The Simpsons is a Gracie Films Production in association with 20th Century Fox Television. James L. Brooks, Matt Groening and Al Jean are the executive producers. The Gracie Films Worldwide Brand Division develops and produces the licensed content for the series.
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