Image copyright 20th Century Fox
Back in 2002, The Simpsons aired an episode called “Gump Roast” which featured the catchy song “They’ll Never Stop the Simpsons” (to the tune of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire”).
Within this song, Dan Castanaletta sang “They’ll Never Stop The Simpsons! Have no fears, we’ve got stories for years”, and, so far, that’s proved to be true to its word.
And, according to Fox Television Group Chairman and CEO Dana Walden, America’s Favourite Family still has plenty of life left in them.
As The Simpsons enter into its 30th season this year, there is currently a large cloud of uncertainty that hangs over the world’s most famous family owing to Disney‘s acquisition of Fox. Following the merger, the studio that currently produces The Simpsons will be separated from the network that broadcasts it, effectively leaving The Simpsons without a home.
However, those fears have been quashed by Walden, who, at the Television Critics Association‘s summer press tour, assured attending journalists that The Simpsons aren’t going anywhere (via USA Today)
“Simpsons has been so much a part of the brand, there are no plans for the show to go anywhere but Fox. For the foreseeable future, there’s so much upside and benefit to have such a great, Emmy-winning series.
There is no consideration of not ordering more Simpsons.”
During the event, Walden also spoke about the recent controversy surrounding Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, who stoke the ire of comedian Hari Kondabolu in 2017. Apu has, by many critics, been cited as a method to humiliate and ridicule Asian-Americans, Indian-Americans, and their families for the past three decades with a thinly veiled stereotype.
The topic has seen voice actor Hank Azaria confirm he is willing to step down from voicing the character in light of the controversy and has even had creator Matt Groening admit that the whole issue has become “tainted” creator Matt Groening admit that the whole issue has become “tainted”. The series tried to quell the backlash from audiences, however, this just incited more rage.
Walden said of the issue;
“In a day of social media where fans are able to have a public forum, I can’t say ultimately we were surprised. I think it’s good information for the creators to receive. They focused on the reaction, and I think that’s partially informing how they will move forward. We have had the conversation with producer Jim Brooks and his team and we’ve basically left it up to them. They’ve treated the characters with so much respect. We trust them to handle it in a way that will be best for the show. Ultimately we decided that would be their decision.”
The Simpsons is now, officially, the longest running scripted primetime television series of all time, amassing a staggering 636 episodes as of 2018. The upcoming 30th Season is due to air later this year, on Fox.