Everybody knows that The Simpsons has a knack for making history. Matt Groening's long-running cartoon has broken records, predicted major cultural events, and kept us laughing in the process. With The Simpsons' 28th season upon us, that tradition appears to be alive and well. The show has once again made history as it joins the ranks of Gunsmoke as the second primetime TV series to ever cross the 600-episode mark.
A new report from The Wrap indicates that the 600th episode of The Simpsons ("Treehouse of Horror XXVII") makes the FOX cartoon only the second scripted primetime series in the history of television to reach that high benchmark. While late night shows like Saturday Night Live and daytime soap operas have crossed this line before, this represents a major moment for a primetime series. Prior to this achievement, the only other primetime show in the history of television to produce 600 episodes was Gunsmoke -- a classic western series that aired from 1955 to 1975. If any series from the last four decades could ever hope to compete with that, it had to be The Simpsons.
Of course, we should note that The Simpsons has not yet overtaken Gunsmoke in this category. While the legendary cartoon just aired its 600th episode, Gunsmoke aired a total of 635 episodes during its run. This means The Simpsons likely won't actually beat Gunsmoke in terms of total number of episodes produced until next season. Having noted this, there doesn't really seem to be a definitive ending in sight for The Simpsons, which means that the animated series could eventually beat Gunsmoke's record by an incredibly wide margin. It's simply a matter of time and persistence.
However, while The Simpsons has not yet overtaken Gunsmoke in number of episodes produced, it has beaten the iconic western series in one very important category. Although Gunsmoke currently outranks The Simpsons in in sheer number of episodes, Matt Groening's series has the advantage in terms of longevity and number of seasons. The Simpsons has been on the air since 1989, and just entered its 28th season, while Gunsmoke only aired for 20 years, which subsequently resulted in 20 seasons. This means that The Simpsons has already achieved the notable distinction of becoming the longest running scripted primetime series of all time.
By now it has become abundantly clear that the folks behind The Simpsons were definitely not joking when they said they had "stories for years."
That song started off as a joke to cap off the "Gump Roast," clip show in 2002, but it has slowly but surely become a reality for The Simpsons. We cannot wait to see what the show does next.
CinemaBlend will bring you all of the latest and greatest news related to The Simpsons as more information becomes available. The series airs every Sunday night at 8 p.m. EST on FOX. For now, make sure to check out our comprehensive fall TV premiere guide and fill out your TV viewing schedules accordingly.