The Simpsons Is Finally Headed To Cable In Huge FXX Deal
The Simpsons has aired on Fox for a lengthy 24 seasons, but in all that time, the network has never once struck a deal to air the famous animated comedy series in syndication on cable. All of that has now changed, thanks to a deal Fox has struck with FXX. The fledgling cable network has earned the rights to air all 530 episodes of the The Simpsons, beginning next year on cable and via Video On Demand, also securing non-linear rights to the series.
Since Fox and FXX are both under the same umbrella, FXX seems like the natural choice to air the show on cable; however, it turns out that FXX only earned the rights after an extensive bidding war. According to THR, the new deal will make FXX the exclusive cable home of reruns of The Simpsons. Additionally, FXNOW, an upcoming subscription mobile app for FX Networks, has nabbed the streaming rights for all episodes of the series. While the deal was put together this week, it will still be a while before FXX starts airing episodes. Repeat episodes of The Simpsons will hit FXX's schedule in August of next year.
Still, what about more recent episodes of the long-running animated series? I know most people would be excited about stopping at Season 25ís ďTreehouse of HorrorĒ episode on a Monday afternoon whilst flipping through cable channels. As it turns out, newer episodes of 20th Century Fox TVís comedy will head over to FXX just as every brand new season begins airing on Fox. For example, Season 25 will hit FXX in September of 2014--just as Season 26 begins airing on Fox. Since Fox has already renewed the series for next season, that plan should work out just dandy.
FXX is a brand new network and it still has a long way to go to build up a viable programming lineup. So far, the cable channel has really just pulled over a few FX favorites like The League and Itís Always Sunny in Philadelphia and has beefed up its syndication content. Airings of The Simpsons will join airings of Da Ali G Show: Rezurection at the network, and while the latter sounds like a brand new show, itís really just reruns of Da Ali G Show with new introductions by Sacha Baron Cohen. The network has also signed a carriage deal with Cohen to put together other programming sometime along the road.
Iím still not certain that branching away from FX was the best idea ever, but at least the network seems to be tapping into the right sorts of programming to get people interested in popping over. Nabbing cable rights to a program might not seem like a big deal, but itís not just any comedy, it's The Simpsons, which is a much bigger deal, considering the show has gone multiple decades without syndication on cable. Weíll see what else the new network has up its sleeve in the coming months.
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