FOX has officially renewed The Simpsons for a 26th season, which will begin next fall and presumably encompass another 22 episodes of life in Springfield. The 25th season premiere of the animated comedy, which featured guest voice work from the likes of Kristen Wiig and Kevin Michael Richardson, was up 12% from last season’s average.
“For more than a quarter of a century, The Simpsons has captured the hearts and minds of fans in a way that transcends ages, languages and cultures,” said FOX Chairman of Entertainment Kevin Reilly. “This groundbreaking series is not only the longest-running scripted show in television history, it’s one of the greatest sitcoms of our time, and I’m looking forward to yet another landmark season.”
There had been some speculation that the series could be on its last legs, considering that it went into this season without having secured a renewal. Contract negotiations between the cast, creators, and network were rather messy the last time they were forced to come to the same table, but this time, it was a much quieter affair that keeps Animation Domination alive for at least one more season. The only show that will be leaving the lineup is American Dad!, as it moves to TBS for its next season, so midseason offering Murder Police has a fairly strong shot at sticking around if it performs even near the level that it needs to. However, there’s always a chance that FOX could use the changing of the guard to attempt to reintroduce live-action comedy back into the lineup, especially if Murder Police is a bust and they don’t have enough time to order a new animated series for 2014-2015.
The Simpsons airs Sundays at 8:00 on FOX.
How long do you think The Simpsons can conceivably last? With the renewal of The Simpsons and Bob’s Burgers, in addition to an earlier renewal of Family Guy, will FOX decide on an animated comedy to replace American Dad! or could they introduce live-action to Animation Domination? Are you surprised that FOX has been so active on the renewal front in the opening weeks of the season?