the simpsons season 31

Fox announced today that The Simpsons has been renewed for two more seasons, ensuring the animated show will last through season 32. However, this is more than just a renewal of their longest legacy show. As the Fox/Disney merger comes to fruition, 20th Century Fox productions falls under the Disney side. 20th Century Fox produces The Simpsons, but this renewal is the first time the Fox network has made a Simpsons deal with Disney in the mix.

Separating the production and the network entities splits the profitability of The Simpsons. Fox can sell ads on it, but 20th owns it for syndication and ancillary revenues. However, just having The Simpsons on Fox is an asset to the network. They use it to lead in to other animated show launches.

“The transaction is larger,” new Fox Entertainment president Charlie Collier told the Television Critics Association:

“Considered inside the transaction was the sustenance of so many franchises like The Simpsons. So those deals were considered one at a time and by franchise within the dealmaking structure. Even those who worked for years at Fox who are going to Disney want Fox to thrive. There’s no light switch at the end of this deal where franchises like The Simpsons are in jeopardy. In fact, that’s why we announced two years today.”

This suggests that 20th made a deal with Fox in which is was cost-effective to keep The Simpsons on the air, and not make Fox go broke paying for it:

“I wouldn’t go into our finances on any one show. I think if you do take it as a portfolio approach, Simpsons and all this, we have shows that have different economics. That’s just the fact of the matter. We go from NFL rights down to programs that we license and many deal structures in between. Our deals with 20th, I wouldn’t go into detail, but our deals have been negotiated such that we can sustain the franchises that are there.”

A press release release about the seasons 31 and 32 renewal said this about The Simpsons:

The longest-running primetime scripted show in television history, THE SIMPSONS exploded into a cultural phenomenon in 1990 and has remained one of the most groundbreaking and innovative entertainment franchises, recognizable throughout the world. Currently airing its historic 30th season, THE SIMPSONS has won 33 Emmy Awards, 34 Annie Awards, a 2016 People’s Choice Award and a 2016 Environmental Media Award. It was the first animated series to win a Peabody Award and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2012 for the theatrical short “The Longest Daycare.” “The Simpsons Movie” was a hit feature film, the mega-attraction “The Simpsons Ride” at Universal Studios has received historic expansion updates with the addition of “Springfield” and the show was honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2000. It has been named the “Best Show of the 20th Century” by Time magazine and called the “Best TV Show Ever” by Vulture in 2016.”

The Simpsons airs Sunday nights at on Fox, streams on FXNOW’s Every Simpsons Ever, and is in syndication everywhere.

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