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The Simpsons has been a mainstay on Fox since the early days of the network. In fact, Season 30 is happening this year, making it one of the longest running programs on the air. It already surpassed Gunsmoke as the longest-running primetime scripted series, and it has shown no signs of slowing down. Case in point, at TCA this weekend, Fox's Dana Walden revealed that any reports of The Simpsons going off of the air have been greatly exaggerated. Per Walden,
The Simpsons is so much a part of the brand, there's been such an incredible halo effect of that show and the other animated series that are on our Sunday night. There are no plans for them to go anywhere other than Fox.
A couple of years ago, The Simpsons veteran Al Jean was asked when he thought the series would end, and he said at the time that he felt as if 30 was a nice round number. Smartly, he added the caveat that he's "been wrong before," as The Simpsons will be in its 30th season this fall and shows no signs of slowing down. So, clearly the question of whether or not The Simpsons will be on the air moving forward is a relevant one. If you are one of the several million who still tune in on Sunday nights for expert parodies of Six Feet Under and more, Fox shouldn't be pulling a Lucifer on The Simpsons anytime soon.
As long as we've all been in business, networks have licensed shows they don't have ownership of. It is challenging, and I anticipate it will be challenging on The Simpsons. But as Dana said, The Simpsons is so associated with Fox, and that association benefits both the network and the owner of the IP. ... I feel confident Disney and Fox are going to find a way to both have an interest in that show.
There's a lot that is still up in the air about the Disney and Fox deal. We already know that Fox is expected to become New Fox and that changes will undoubtedly occur, but since the deal hasn't even gone through yet, it's business as usual at the network. We'll keep you updated on the deal, as well as any other Simpsons news that arises as the network inches ever closer to the fall TV season. However, if you've ever wondered how the long-running animated series could end, Al Jean has also been pretty open with an idea he's had connecting the show's beginning to its ending.
Take a look at what's coming with CinemaBlend's fall TV premiere schedule, as well.