Rumors of The Simpsons cancellation left fans shocked this holiday weekend. However, fans breathed a collective sigh of relief, or dismay, depending on their feelings about the show's recent history, when showrunner Al Jean spoke out about the beloved, long-running animated series.
It all started when Danny Elfman, the long-time composer for the Fox show, hinted in an interview that the series was nearing its end, according to a Consequence of Sound report.
"From what I've heard, it is coming to an end," Elfman told the Big Reviewski podcast. "I don't know for a fact, but I've heard that it will be in its last year."
The unexpected words caused fans to worry because The Simpsons has aired new episodes each season since its first airdate of December 17, 1989, and Homer Simpson's family even has its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Part of the reason Elfman's comments felt believable is that the animated series experienced its lowest-ever ratings during its 30th season on the network. Articles about Elfman's interview quickly made the rounds, but Jean put the rumors of the cartoon's ending to rest with a retweet of an article from The Guardian, along with a comment.
"We are all thankful the following article is NOT TRUE," he wrote, which managed to assuage viewers' fears.Fans responded to the news with a mixture of happiness and despair. Many felt that the cartoon should aim for a remarkable 50 seasons, while others complained that today's episodes are a mere shell of what the show used to be back when Bart Simpson's favorite comeback was "eat my shorts."
"Thank god it's not ending anytime soon I absolutely love this show it been in my life for so long I don't know what I would do without it thank you for telling us it's not ending can't wait for more years to come," one happy fan of the series replied to Jean's news on Twitter.
Not everybody had the same feeling of joy, though.
"Just end it already, the show is not funny anymore, every time I 'try' to watch the last episode I cringe on how hard you guys try to make an episode that is funny. The show has become a parody of itself," wrote a disgruntled viewer.
This past February, Fox renewed The Simpsons for at least two more seasons, and overall, the show has enjoyed a shocking three decades on the network. For those who want to binge-watch the show from the beginning, every episode, aside from the one featuring Michael Jackson, is available for streaming from Disney Plus.