The Simpsons is the longest-running prime-time animated series, and the longest-running sitcom (live-action or otherwise), AND the longest-running scripted primetime series, with the most episodes, in American television history. There are no run-length achievements left for Homer to conquer, with the exception of the 15,000-plus episodes of soap opera Guiding Light. The Simpsons probably won’t get there (although you know what they say), but the show is expected to be renewed for two more record-breaking seasons:
Sources with knowledge of negotiations tell Variety that [Fox Broadcasting Co.] and studio 20th Century Fox Television are near completion of a deal to renew The Simpsons for a 31st and 32nd season. The terms of the agreement, which includes a licensing fee that’s slightly reduced from what the network paid under the last renewal, reflect the reality of the shifting economics around the show.)
There’s a full breakdown on the “shifting economics” here, but basically, The Simpsons is a “loss leader” for the Fox Broadcasting Company, but the show does well for 20th Century Fox Television, which is about to be owned by Disney. That makes things, from syndication rights to streaming deals, very complicated, “If The Simpsons were to end its run on Fox with its 32nd season, that would free Disney to negotiate a new deal or deals covering broadcast, cable, and streaming that would potentially dwarf the $750 million paid by FX,” Variety reports. Disney may also choose to end the show, but The Simpsons is an institution; it looks good in the company’s portfolio, alongside Marvel and Pixar. Or as media consulate Brad Adgate put it, “When the show ends, I would think that it will be because the creators of the show and the producers don’t want to do it anymore, not because two media conglomerates got together.”
It always comes back to the all-ighty ollar.