The Simpsons has been renewed for two more seasons. Fox will continue to air new episodes of the iconic cartoon at least through its 34th season in 2023.
As The Hollywood Reporter points out, renewing the longest-running scripted primetime show in TV history might seem like an obvious move, but the process has actually gotten a bit more complicated in recent years. After Disney purchased Fox’s assets for $72 billion back in March 2019, the parent company has a lot more say in where Homer, Marge and the gang end up in the vast multiverse of cable and streaming.
For instance, after this next renewal period ends in two years, Disney could choose to move The Simpsons to a new network, which would give them the opportunity to negotiate a new deal to the tune of $1 billion. Although new episodes of the show will air on Fox, Disney has the series’ entire back catalog on their streaming service Disney+, while current-season episodes continue to populate on Hulu — which Disney also owns.
According to THR, Disney gave Fox a reduced licensing fee when they renewed back in 2019, but it’s unclear if the price was reduced once again for this deal. Last year, Fox and Disney worked out renewal deals for The Simpsons’ fellow animated comedies, Family Guy and Bob’s Burgers, which are on the same two-season schedule as Springfield’s favorite family.
This current season of The Simpsons, which began in September and will run through May 9th, marks the show’s pivot from having white voice actors play characters of color, which they pledged to do back in June 2020. Sticking to their word, Alex Désert replaced Hank Azaria as Homer’s Black co-worker Carl Carlson, while actor Kevin Michael Richardson replaced Harry Shearer as Dr. Hibbert, who is also Black.
It’s good to know that The Simpsons will keep cranking out new material, but even their old episodes continue to remain shockingly relevant. Within this year alone, Kamala Harris’ inauguration outfit was predicted by a Simpsons episode from 21 years earlier, while an episode from 28 years ago saw Mayor Quimby engage in the same tone-deaf vacation that Ted Cruz did last month.