How many American television shows have made it 30 consecutive years on the air?
Off the top of our head, we can only think of Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, The Price is Right, Gunsmoke and maybe a few newsmagazines/news programs. For a cartoon to stay on the air for over 30 years is something landmark, and it’s only fitting that The Simpsons will reach that milestone after being renewed for its 29th and 30th seasons by FOX.
FOX and The Simpsons have had their eye on Gunsmoke for some time now as it’s the longest running episodic program in American TV history. In fact, the statement that announced the renewal included Homer Simpson quoted as saying, “Take that Gunsmoke! You lost a race you didn’t even know you were running!”
The order for new episodes is 44, bringing the running total of total episodes to 669, which means the show would become the longest running scripted program in TV history (Gunsmoke lasted 635 episodes).
Once a segment on the long-departed Tracy Ullman Show, The Simpsons has become an indelible American cultural institution the likes of which are probably only matched by apple pie, the Super Bowl, and bald eagles.
Maybe the show has lost a little of its edge in years past, but its presence on FOX’s Sunday Night lineup is still secure, and therefore some laughs are as well.