With the news that Fox has ordered both the 29th and 30th seasons of The Simpsons, the long-running animated series climbs to a total of 669 episodes. That’s, by far, enough to make it the largest number of episodes for any scripted television show ever, breaking the record previously set by Gunsmoke, which had 635.
The Simpsons recently celebrated its 600th episode, a milestone achievement for the cultural phenomenon that began in late 1989 and has remained one of the most groundbreaking and innovative entertainment franchises recognizable throughout the world. At last count, the series has won 32 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.
Here’s what Dana Walden and Gary Newman, Chairmen and CEOs of Fox Television Group, had to say about the renewal:
“This is yet another record-setting moment for what is truly a landmark series. The Simpsons has meant so much to the network, the studio and everyone at Fox, and its continued cultural impact around the globe is a testament to the combined brilliance of Matt, Jim and Al. Congratulations to everyone who works on this groundbreaking series – from the voice cast and producers to the writers and production team – you comprise one of the greatest collections of creative talent in the history of the medium. And to the millions of Simpsons fans around the world, thank you for watching all these years. We’re happy to tell you there’s lots more to come.”
On the next all-new episode, “There Will Be Buds,” airing this Sunday, November 6th (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX, Homer (Dan Castellaneta) gets roped into coaching the kids’ lacrosse team with Milhouse’s dad, Kirk (Hank Azaria), who is in desperate need of a friend. When Kirk gets too clingy, Homer vents about how much of a loser he is. Kirk overhears his rant and disappears, right when the team needs him most: the championship game.
There’s no word just yet on if the 30th season will be the last for The Simpsons but unless the creative team hands off the duties to a new generation of writers, animators, and voice actors, The Simpsons will have to come to an end sooner than later. When that day comes, it’ll be a huge loss to the cultural zeitgeist for multiple generations of TV watchers. Speaking for myself, the animated family has been in existence almost as long as I have, and it formed the cornerstone of my Sunday night TV watching throughout the 90s. However, The Simpsons is one of those shows that is no longer in my regular rotation and hasn’t been for over a decade; there’s just too much competition out there to keep up with a show that feels like it’s already done everything it possibly could. But you better believe I’ll be tuning in for every episode of that final season once the day inevitably comes.
What about you Simpsons fans out there? Have you been watching the show religiously for 28 seasons? Do you plan to see every episode right up until the series’ finale? Be sure to let us know in the comments!