Archive for March, 2021

05
Mar
21

Hey, Everybody! Zombie Simpsons Got Renewed Again! [Crowd Turns, Shrugs]

“Can I have my shirts back at least?” – Kirk van Houten
“Okay, you heard the lady. Why don’t you take it outside, alright?” – Pyro 

Zombie Simpsons got the renewal nod from old dad and new dad yesterday. Both are very proud of their large adult son:

It’s a sincere pleasure to announce the Season 33 and 34 pick-ups for THE SIMPSONS. We keep hoping that, eventually, they’ll get it right,” said Charlie Collier, CEO, FOX Entertainment. “Profound respect for and congratulations to Matt, Jim, Al, Matt and the many other wonderful partners working really hard to finally elevate ‘The Tracey Ullman Show.’ As they say, ‘practice makes perfect.’”

And:

Original, brilliant, outrageously funny, prophetic…there aren’t enough positive adjectives to describe this genius comedy which continues to entertain viewers of all ages,” commented Dana Walden, Chairman of Entertainment, Walt Disney Television. “Jim Brooks, Matt Groening and Al Jean lead a team of all-stars who hold such a high bar for themselves and leap over it with each spectacular episode. On behalf of everyone at our studio and the millions of fans of THE SIMPSONS around the world, I want to thank our wonderful partners at FOX for making this a truly great day.”

I enjoy it when the statements issued from the top are so blandly duplicative that you wonder if even the quoted people’s assistants have read them beforehand. Both are structurally identical and conclude with the same offer of praise to their “wonderful partners”; which raises the fascinating question of whether one lowly assistant drafted both statements or if both PR departments have independently reached the same nadir of actual meaning.

There really isn’t much to add here. Variety and UPI both dutifully wrote up the press release (and a few other publications wrote up their write ups) and that’s about it. Which is a shame because there actually is an interesting question here that’s not addressed in this statement: what, if any, differences are there in how much Disney is charging FOX to keep producing the show?

Disney owns both the syndication and merchandise rights to the Simpsons now, all FOX gets is whatever revenue they generate from broadcasting new episodes. That’s a huge change in the calculus of whether or not to continue making it. And, of course, there’s the matter of the actual production staff and budget. Are there cuts (as there so often are after one company digests another)? Nobody’s bothered to ask.

Anyway, it’s two more years of Zombie Simpsons at least. And still no word on what Disney plans to do with the franchise.




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