Fox will stay in business with its animated first family, “The Simpsons,” well after Homer and Marge move over to Disney.
The network has renewed the long-running sitcom for two more seasons — numbers 31 and 32, respectively — which will push the show past the 700-episode mark.
The two-year pickup keeps Fox in business with one of its biggest TV franchises as it readies its move over to Disney once the company’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s film and TV assets is closed in the next few months. Disney is set to get “The Simpsons” studio 20th Century Fox, which also owns fellow animated sitcom, “Family Guy.”
The show is already the longest-running scripted series in TV history, surpassing “Gunsmoke” last season. It first debuted in 1989, during George H.W. Bush’s presidency. On Sunday, “The Simpsons” will air its 652nd episode — “I’m Dancing as Fat as I Can” — which features a voice cameo from Netflix’s Ted Sarandos. By the end of the 32nd season, “The Simpsons” will have produced 713 episodes.
During its last couple of seasons, “The Simpsons” found itself dealing with criticism over its character Apu, whose future has followed the show since the November 2017 release of the documentary “The Problem With Apu.” The film studies the effects of what star and director Hari Kondabolu believes to be negative stereotypes perpetuated by the popular animated East Indian character. The fictional Apu Nahasapeemapetilon who has a thick Indian accent and runs a convenience store, is voiced by a white man, Hank Azaria.
“The Simpsons” is a Gracie Films Production in association with 20th Century Fox Television. James L. Brooks, Matt Groening and Al Jean are the executive producers. The series stars Harry Shearer, Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Julie Kavner and Azaria.