‘The Simpsons’ Is Officially The Longest-Running Scripted Show In TV History

Senior Pop Culture Editor
04.30.18 7 Comments

“I’ve had plenty of guys come after me and I’ve buried them all. Hobos, sea captains, Joey Bishop…”
“Don’t forget the Special Olympics.”
“Oh, yeah. I buried the Special Olympics!”

Krusty the Clown’s boast, about his failed competition over the years, might as well be The Simpsons‘. The animated series, which aired its first episode in 1989 (and that doesn’t even include The Tracey Ullman Show shorts), has seen five presidents and may outlast its own network — it’s also broken numerous television records, including longest-running primetime animated sitcom, longest-running primetime live action sitcom, the most seasons for any American scripted primetime series, and as of Sunday, the most episodes, too.

Last night’s episode, “Forgive and Regret,” was The Simpsons‘ 636th — that’s one more than the previous record-holder, Gunsmoke, aired during its 20-season run. (Seasons used to be longer; Gunsmoke‘s first five seasons were all 39 episodes long, while the longest Simpsons season is 25 episodes.)

“I say reboot Gunsmoke and keep TV’s hottest rivalry going strong,” executive producer Matt Selman told the Washington Post, while long-time director David Silverman added, “The record-holder for most seasons was of course Gunsmoke at 20. Once we broke that, I had a feeling we would go to at least 30 seasons. And I was looking towards breaking the 635 [episode] mark — it seemed a strong possibility.” The Simpsons will be on for at least two more seasons (that’s 31 overall), so potential challengers to the throne, like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Family Guy, need to set their longevity aim elsewhere. Otherwise, they’re going to get buried like Krusty did Joey Bishop.

See how The Simpsons acknowledged the record in the couch gag above.

(Via the Washington Post)

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