A quarter century of 'The Simpsons' - and show could go till it's 50, says creator
AL Jean, the executive producer of The Simpsons, says he is confident that Homer and Co will be around until 2019 – and could even survive to celebrate their 50th anniversary.
Jean, 53, who has worked on more than 500 episodes of The Simpsons since it launched in 1989, said: "In show business you always treat every day as your last, 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 . . .and why can't we go to 40 or even 50."
The Detroit-born screenwriter and producer also worked on the 2007 film version, The Simpsons Movie, but explained, in an interview with the New Zealand Herald, that a follow-up film was low on the list of priorities for the show. Jean said: "If making a second movie right now was a scale from A to Z, we are between A and B. The problem is there is so much work and there is no reason to do it unless it's good."
Jean believes that the agelessness of the animated characters has made it durable, because fans can drift in and out of the series. "One reason we have been on for 25 years is that if Bart was 30 years old and living with Homer it would be pathetic," he says. "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 added that many top sitcoms end when one of the stars wants to branch out and do something different, citing Cheers as an example: "I think that ended after a very long run because Ted Danson said they'd done enough."
In the latest episode shown in America, number 16 of season 25, called You Don't Have to Live Like a Referee, Homer Simpson is recruited as a referee and ends up officiating in the World Cup final, in which Germany beat Brazil 2-0.