The Simpsons' creator Matt Groening has made a couple of animated series since the start of the Fox program, but there's never been a direct spinoff of the adult-animation series. If there were to be, however, one long-time voice actor for the show thinks he knows which character should get one. At a recent panel, Harry Shearer spoke about the spinoff idea he'd most like to see and why he'd like to see it.
I guess the one I think would benefit from a spinoff at this point would be Reverend Lovejoy. There’s never been, as far as I know, an American TV show about a clergyman.
If there has been an American TV show about a clergyman, it hasn't been nearly as noteworthy as a Simpsons spinoff about Reverend Lovejoy would be. Lovejoy isn't the most exciting character in the lore that could get a show, but there's no denying a series centered around him would be a lot different than the typical episode of The Simpsons.
Like, would it still take place in Springfield, or would he and Helen Lovejoy pack up and move elsewhere? Also, would he have just as many zany adventures as the Simpson family? It's very hard to imagine.
It would almost certainly tackle religion a lot more, which may cause some controversy given The Simpsons tends to portray things in an irreverent nature. Would Disney sign off on a spinoff that predominantly tackles religion, especially with a team like The Simpsons' writers behind it to stir the pot?
With that said, it sounds like some religious organizations have embraced Reverend Lovejoy, given Harry Shearer's comments about giving interviews with religious magazines.
By Season 15, I was being interviewed by The Christian Century magazine, because this was the only show that had not one but two avowedly religious characters in Flanders and Lovejoy.
Perhaps the interest is in the sense that The Simpsons can be a tad less controversial than other shows on television these days. Bart Simpson used to cause controversy, but these days he's certainly the more tame alternative compared to other options like Eric Cartman or Peter Griffin. Harry Shearer's idea sounded crazy at first, but perhaps in an age where The Simpsons has lost its edge, a series with a religious spin could work?
What's most surprising about Harry Shearer's idea is that Reverend Lovejoy was at the top of his mind when he's voiced so many iconic characters for The Simpsons. Two of the biggest among them are Ned Flanders and Mr. Burns, whom many Simpsons fans would love to see get a spinoff. At least, they'd like to see that over a Reverend Lovejoy series, anyway, so it's interesting to hear Shearer's thoughts on this matter.
THR reported the panel was a part of The Simpsons celebrating its 30th anniversary where, in addition to Shearer's thoughts on spinoffs, members of the cast and crew were on hand to discuss various changes to the franchise. This included any changes that might've come from Disney acquiring Fox and, therefore, The Simpsons. Creator Matt Groening said that, so far, the only main change wasn't really related to the show.
On the Fox lot, you used to just show your ID going in, and now you have to show your ID going out as well.
That sounds annoying, but not the nightmare scenario some fans had speculated would happen if Disney got its hands on The Simpsons. Of course, there's still time for any number of things to change now that the show is under new management, so viewers will have to wait and see what could happen going forward.
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