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At this point in its run, The Simpsons would probably need to be commit heinous crimes in order to be taken off the air, so it's a good thing animated series can't do all that, right? Rumors spread that the show could end with Season 30, but Fox just blew all those rumors away by renewing The Simpsons for not just one, but two years, bringing the animated hit to Seasons 31 and 32.
Already, The Simpsons is making history just by reaching 31 seasons, and then again by reaching 32 seasons. That just doesn't happen normally, although I'm perfectly willing to give FXX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia another 18 years to try and get it done.
Once Season 32 is complete, The Simpsons will have produced 713 episodes of television. There was no cancellation notice pencilled into this news, so the chances are good that Fox will keep the renewals going even after that point.
In a prepared statement, Homer Simpson himself had this to say:
Woo hoo! 32 Seasons! Watch your back Meet the Press.
No one should get too carried away here. Meet the Press has put together 70 seasons and has been on the air since 1947. It just happens to be one of the only current shows left on TV that is actually older than The Simpsons.
Had The Simpsons turned into an irreversible ratings nightmare in recent years, Fox might have been more hesitant to keep the streak going. However, Bart & Co. are holding up quite well in their long-set Sunday night time slot. In Season 30, the show is averaging 4.8 million total viewers, and a 1.9 demographic rating with viewers aged 18-49. When accounting for viewing on multiple platforms, the average jumps up to 7.5 million viewers.
As well, it remains one of the most popular shows with adults in the sought-after demographic groups. It's one of the top five comedies for adults aged 18-49 and adults aged 18-34. When that demographic is just held to men, The Simpsons is a big winner in comedies, but it also ranks as the #2 broadcast series with all men 18-34.
Despite reports in recent years that NFL ratings had gone soft, pro football was a major TV pastime in this most recent season, and Fox's big Sunday afternoon games absolutely helped The Simpsons deliver a strong half-season overall. In fact, the January 13 episode "The Girl on the Bus" was watched by over 10 million people and earned a stellar 3.8 demo rating, which made for its best numbers in years.
As such, we can possibly expect to see some similar ratings and viewership highs in the next two years, especially now that we know The Simpsons is returning for Season 31 and Season 32. The show already broke the record for longest number of scripted series seasons long ago, and it also topped Gunsmoke to have the most scripted episodes of any TV series in history. I wonder what other shows' records it could possibly break next.