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Eat my shorts! Fox looks to give The Simpsons their own 24/7 TV channel


Lisa , Marge , Maggie, Homer and Bart Simpson. Photo: AP

Lisa , Marge , Maggie, Homer and Bart Simpson. Photo: AP

Lisa , Marge , Maggie, Homer and Bart Simpson. Photo: AP

FANS of "The Simpsons" are salivating at the possibility of the television series being given its own 24-hour channel.

As Homer Simpson once said: "The answer to life's problems aren't at the bottom of a bottle, they're on TV!"

The show is approaching its 500th episode and is the longest running sitcom in the history of American television, having begun in 1989.

Executives at Fox, which broadcasts it, are now considering the idea of a digital channel which would play nothing but those episodes day and night.

News Corp chief operating officer Chase Carey hinted at the prospect of a Simpsons channel during a business conference in New York, although he said if it went ahead it would not be for at least 12 months.

He said a "number of meetings" had been held about how to capitalise on the "unprecedented volume" of footage from the series and a channel purely for the show's fans was a possibility. There were "a lot of Simpsons fans out there," he added.

"The point I was making, which I will re-emphasise, is that this is a unique franchise and it provides us a unique opportunity to do some interesting things with it."

The show, created by Matt Groening and first broadcast more than two decades ago, is also the longest running animated show in American history.

It has won 27 Emmy Awards and a feature length movie released in 2007 grossed more than $500 million.

The show, a parody of American family life, is set in the fictional town of Springfield and focuses on the antics of Homer and Marge Simpson and their children Bart, Lisa and Maggie.

Its long run has seen it become a touchstone of popular culture and a host of celebrities have lent their voices to characters. Catchphrases such as Homer's "D'oh!" and Bart's "Eat my shorts" have entered every day use.

There has also been controversy, including the character of Bart being criticised as a bad role model for children.

If Fox was to go ahead with the dedicated channel it could not happen for a year because of syndication agreements already in place for previous episodes.

However, the prospect of a Simpsons channel raises the possibility that a small number of other long running shows with enough old episodes could be given dedicated channels in future.