The Simpsons May Soon Be a Cable Show; America’s Favorite Yellow Family Might Move to FX
The Simpsons may finally get a cable syndication deal after years of exclusivity.
The Simpsons have been on FOX for 25 years. That’s a quarter century of Fox-bashing and innuendoes and in-joke hostility. Fox has repaid the Springfield clan by threatening to pull the plug every time the cast or crew wants to get paid. Now, hopefully they have found a happy medium. At least in syndication.
Unnamed insiders told TV Guide, possibly when high, Cypress Hill, I’m looking at you, that Twentieth Television, which is the syndication subsidiary of 20th Century Fox Television, which is a subsidiary of some other 20th Century thing, is looking to shop around the longest running scripted TV show in history. The source said, "There's a pent-up demand for it." (yeah, and women and seamen don’t mix). This could happen next year.
Now, the logical choice would be FOX’s sister channel, FX or their sister channel FXX, which is going to be launched soon. Or Turner, which already pays FOX for Family Guy, American Dad and King of the Hill. But this is the Simpsons, an international institution that is known and revered in every corner of the globe. News Corp. COO Chase Carey says, why not an all-Simpsons Channel. This writer would probably have it on all the time.
When The Simpsons was spun off from The Tracey Ullman Shown and then sold into syndication, no one thought it would last out the season, much less still be up and running on a 25-year run. Bill Carroll, vice president and director of programming at Katz Media, said "There have been additional contracts to add episodes. But the first one signed is still in effect. It was a unique time and place and a unique show, and thus the deals were advantageous to the stations."
If The Simpsons does end after next year's 25th season, which has been the talk for a while now, these deals may change. Now it’s up to Twentieth Century Fox to decide if they want to keep their hands on all things Simpson or take money from outside companies. That could anger executive producers Matt Groening and James L. Brooks, like it pissed off David Duchovny and Steven Bochco when FX got cable syndication rights to The X-Files and NYPD Blue. Turner is also in the running, because The Simpsons would be a welcome addition to their Adult Swim. Viacom has multiple outlets for the series too, including Comedy Central, Spike, Nick at Nite, TV Land and MTV.
The Simpsons have produced 530 episodes.