‘The Simpsons’ Could Last Until 2040, Warns Al Jean

Gregory Wakeman - Author

Feb. 20 2017, Updated 10:57 p.m. ET

The Simpsonscould easily last until 2040 to celebrate its 50th anniversary, according to the show’s executive producer, Al Jean.

The 53-year-old has been at the helm for over 500 episodes of the hugely influential sitcom, which began in 1989.

“In show business you always treat every day as your last,” he began, “but we’re guaranteed through 26 seasons. The deals are usually in instalments of four and the ratings are good, so I can’t see why we wouldn’t go to 30.”

He then predicted that the animated comedy could go even further than that, as he added, “and why can’t we go to 40 or even 50.”

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Jean made the revelation during an in-depth interview with the New Zealand Herald. However, the Detroit-born screenwriter, who also created the short–lived animated comedy, The Critic, as well as working on the 2007 Simpsons movie, said that a sequel wasn’t a priority for the the writers.

“If making a second movie right now as on a scale from A to Z, we are between A and B,” he noted. “The problem is there is so much work and there is no reason to do it unless it’s good.”

Jean also believes that he has stumbled upon the main reason for The Simpsons’ prolonged success too, as he thinks that the agelessness of Home, Marge, Lisa, Bart, Maggie and the fellow inhabitants of Springfield has allowed viewers to drift in and out of the series.

“One reason we have on for 25 years is that if Bart was 30 years old and living with Homer it would be pathetic,” he noted. “You basically have this template where people turn on the show and they’re seeing the same thing they did five years ago and you’re exploring new issues.”

He also paid tribute to Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, Yeardley Smith, and Julie Kavner, stating, “Part of the reason for the success of the show, no doubt, is because of them.”

Meanwhile, he went on to reveal that because the voice actors don’t have to spend weeks in front of an audience shooting their scenes, instead they just spend a few hours inside a recording booth recording their dialogue, they’ve been allowed to have careers outside of the show.

“They have independent TV and film careers outside of The Simpsons and they don’t feel they have to leave to do other things,” Jean noted. He then used Cheers as an example, as he remarked, “I think that ended after a very long run because Ted Danson said they’d done enough.”


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