With news that Fox has ordered a historic two-season renewal for The Simpsons – locking down plans for seasons 29 and 30 in the process – the cherished family animation is now set to become the longest-running scripted TV show ever.
That brings the total episode count to 669, easily surpassing the record previously held by Gunsmoke (635). First released in 1989, The Simpsons has gone on to become a cornerstone of the small-screen landscape, amassing a staggering collection of awards and accolades for its sharp writing and endearing characters. Having just recently celebrated its 600th episode, news that the show’s immediate future is secured will no doubt be music to the ears of long-time fans.
In a joint statement, Dana Walden and Gary Newman – Chairmen and CEOs of Fox Television Group – reflected on the show’s historic success:
“This is yet another record-setting moment for what is truly a landmark series. The Simpsons has meant so much to the network, the studio and everyone at Fox, and its continued cultural impact around the globe is a testament to the combined brilliance of Matt, Jim and Al. Congratulations to everyone who works on this groundbreaking series – from the voice cast and producers to the writers and production team – you comprise one of the greatest collections of creative talent in the history of the medium. And to the millions of Simpsons fans around the world, thank you for watching all these years. We’re happy to tell you there’s lots more to come.”
The real question now is, will the show’s 30th season be its last? One of the biggest debates surrounding The Simpsons in recent years has been whether Fox’s flagship has overstayed its welcome. It continues to be a solid performer in the ratings department – hence the two-season renewal – but it’ll be fascinating to see where the series goes from here.
The Simpsons has officially been renewed for seasons 29 and 30. Closer to home, “There Will Be Buds” is due to air on Sunday, November 6 at 8:00pm.