The Simpsons repeats will start airing on Disney’s Freeform in September. The network will have access to all 30 seasons of the series that will have already aired on the series’ primary network, Fox, which recently renewed it for Seasons 31 and 32. The announcement was made as part of Disney’s upfront press conference.
At the same event, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf said that the company’s Simpsons World online site will close down once The Simpsons launches on Disney+.
FX Networks landed full library rights (including digital) to The Simpsons in 2013 in a ground-breaking deal for FXX and FXNow.
I hear FXX will remain the main Simpsons off-network cable home, airing 25 hours (50 episodes) of repeats a week vs. 10 for Freeform. The agreement is similar to the one the two new corporate siblings recently struck for another Fox/20th TV animated staple, Family Guy.
FX Networks landed off-network rights to Seth MacFarlane’s series and proceeded to share them with Freeform, with FXX running five and Freeform an hour a week. In both cases, the rationale is that the animated repeats will strengthen Freeform without the two networks cannibalizing each other as they cater to very different audiences. I hear another Fox animated series FX recently acquired off-networks rights to, Bob’s Burgers, also may be shared with Freeform.
At the Disney upfront press event Tuesday morning, both the heads of FX Networks Landgraf and Freeform Tom Ascheim touted the arrangement as beneficial, with Ascheim noting that the airings Freeform is getting are additional and not impacting FXX’s hours.
The Simpsons, one of the crown jewels of 20th Century Fox TV, was recently announced as a centerpiece of the upcoming Disney+ streaming platform.
The deals for Family Guy and now The Simpsons come on the heels of Freeform announcing its plans to build a female-focused animation block with two projects in development — Betches and Woman World.
Currently in its 30th season, The Simpsons is a Gracie Films Production in association with 20th TV. The series was created by Matt Groening and developed by James L. Brooks, Matt Groening and Sam Simon. James L. Brooks, Matt Groening and Al Jean are executive producers.