Reading Digest: Cable Expansion Edition

Homer vs Lisa and the 8th Commandment10

“How can one little insulated wire bring so much happiness?” – Homer Simpson

The big news this week was the deliberate media leak that FOX is considering selling the cable rights to The Simpsons and Zombie Simpsons next year.  This was a little unexpected in that one of the reasons the show has never been on cable is that the over-the-air syndication deal prohibits such a thing so long as new episodes are being made.  So did this indicate that the show would be ending?  No:

However, unlike most syndication deals, the “Simpsons”-cable syndication does not spell doom for the program as a whole.

A source at Fox tells Variety that the net has no plans in the near term to cancel the animated skein, leaving “The Simpsons” potentially syndicated on both broadcast and cable, while still rolling out new episodes on Fox.

But that wasn’t the only cable news link this week.  The Netherlands is getting a new cable channel from FOX that will have the show as well.  In addition to that we’ve got plenty of people who agree with us, interviews with David Silverman and James L. Brooks, Google Street View catching what looks like a Simpsons movie promo out and about, another Threadless contest entry, and lots more.


‘The Simpsons’ Is Finally Coming To Cable – Here it is and here’s a link that explains just why it is a good thing:

Considering most Fox syndicates only air episodes from the past five seasons or so (if I have to see “The Scorpion’s Tale” one more time, I’m going to scream), this is terrific news, made all the better by “executives [believing] that Fox’s sister channel FX will likely have first crack at the property.” Here’s why this should happen.

1. Because this episode will be on TV again.

That leads to a screen grab from “Bart the Lover”, and the rest of them are all from Season 8 or before.  If a deal does get done, and it does get the old ones back on regular TV all the time (as Jebus intended), that would be a very good thing.

Director David Silverman talks about ‘The Simpsons’ – David Silverman is still doing publicity for that animation festival in Toronto and went on a Canadian morning show.  I love the polite, dead eyed laughter at the beginning where they show a clip from Zombie Simpsons.

"6 Musical Moments from The Simpsons, Looped Forever" by MrTheEdge – There is way more Zombie Simpsons here than there needs to be, but the first one (with Maggie and the Drive soundtrack) is pretty hypnotizing.  

The Simpsons – Some Enchanted Evening. – A new blog takes a nice, somewhat creeped out nostalgic look at the last episode of Season 1.  One small nitpick:

(Season 1 Episode 13) CONTAINS SPOILERS.

I think we can dispense with spoiler warnings for twenty-three-year-old episodes that have been broadcast in syndication for decades now. 

SUPERCUT: Movie references in the Simpsons, season 6-10 – Remember that link with all the references from the first five seasons?  Here’s the sequel.  It’ll be curious to see if they stop there or plow into the direct reproduction, no satire at all phase of Zombie Simpsons. 

The Return of Derek Jeter, Part II by Jose Guzman, Jr. – Excellent reference:

So, we can now ignore that unfortunate blip on the screen that was his initial season debut against the Kansas City Royals on July 11. As far as I am concered, “that Derek Jeter” was an imposter. It reminds me of the “Homie the Clown” episode of The Simspons, where Homer goes to Krusty’s clown college and then starts to impersonate him. There’s only one Krusty the Clown, and there’s only one Derek Jeter

The 24 Best TV Show Opening Credits – Lots of YouTube here, and the show comes in at #7, in the top “The GREAT ones” category.

Marge & Maggie Simpson Spotted In Toronto Google Street Views – Pretty much what it says.  Looks like one of those couch statues they put in theaters for the movie. 

Value of quarterly activity in The Simpsons: Tapped Out estimated at $58 million – For a word that’s only a couple of years old, “freemium” sure has taken on an archly pecuniary meaning awfully quickly:

Revealing that The Simpsons: Tapped Out now has 5.4 million daily active players, Kim point out that was ‘more than EA Mobile had across all its games in 2012’.

Indeed, as EA’s Q1 financial filings reveal, the game generated more cash between April to June 2013 than at any time since it launched (technically relaunched) in October 2012.

"In the past quarter, it’s generated 6 billion gameplay minutes, 1 billion quests, and players have spent more than 233 billion bucks," Kim added.

The $58,000,000 figure may be exaggerated since it counts the fake currency and is not necessary gross revenue, but it’s still a lot of real/virtual currency flowing through that game every three months.  (The same time last year was already $23,000,000 cash.)  That this comes from the show that once parodied Disney bucks with Itchy & Scratchy Money is mind blowingly ironic. 

The Simpsons Kang and Kodos’ Twirl ‘N’ Hurl Testing at Universal Studios Florida – YouTube of them testing out one of the new rides while bored construction workers look on. 

Proud redheads set to hold Scotland’s first ever ginger rights protest in Edinburgh – I’m all for ginger pride, but if this is how the newspaper writes it up, you’re in trouble:

Many Scots celebs proudly sport ginger locks, including Ewan McGregor, Karen Gillan and groundskeeper Willie from The Simpsons.

They also used a picture of Willie.  (And, c’mon, nobody mentions famous gingers like Ron Howard and . . . others.) 

Check Out Some New Cam’ron and Simpsons Tees – Well, there’s a Simpsons t-shirt, but it’s rather less impressive than most of the designs fans are throwing up at Threadless.  Speaking of which . . .

C. Montgomery Burns Tee – Another Threadless entry, this one for an avaricious looking Burns.  Cool.

clown will eat me – Heh.

‘The Simpsons Movie’ Sequel: David Silverman Clarifies Release Date Rumours – File this under the innumerable reasons you can’t trust anything the entertainment press writes:

Moviefone: I saw [in the Hollywood Reporter] that you recently said that we probably won’t see a sequel to "The Simpsons Movie" for another 10-15 years. Why is that?
David Silverman: Because I was misquoted. [Laughs] I was totally misquoted! I saw that. I was with Matt Groening, we were at UCLA at this thing, and this quote came up in The Hollywood Reporter. And I called Matt and said, "Matt, did I say that?" Matt just started laughing, he said, "Nope, you didn’t say that." So here’s a hot scoop: The Hollywood Reporter got it wrong! I was either making a joke and it was misunderstood, or I didn’t say it at all and they misheard me.

This is, what, the third or fourth time someone has said, often while laughing, “not for five years” or something and it gets written up by every entertainment rag there is like it’s serious or hinting?  Yutzes. 

Fox Cable Network to Launch in Netherlands – The Dutch are getting the Simpsons on cable a lot sooner than we are:

The new Dutch network will focus on audiences in the 12 years and older demographic. It will offer "a slate of premium, first-run programming anchored in four content pillars that span drama, movies, animation and sports," FIC said.
A mix of FIC original co-productions and acquisitions leads the drama lineup, including The Walking Dead, Da Vinci’s Demons, The Bridge and Ripper Street. The animation lineup includes Fox favorite The Simpsons.

As I am unfamiliar with Dutch TV, I’ll refrain from commenting on whether or not this is a good thing, Simpsons-wise.  Presumably the show is already on there and this may or may not be better for fans. 

32 Celebrities Who Were Almost On "The Simpsons" – This is a Buzzfeed link, so it’s got very little credibility but is just entertaining enough that you scroll through at least some of it.  Mildly interesting. 

An Hour Interview with “The Simpsons” Co-Creator James L. Brooks – As it says, this is an hour long (well, 50 minutes) and I haven’t watched it or even skimmed it yet.  So I have no idea if he says anything new. 

Capture…In 10 Words – Coming up next on the WB, another bad show that no one will see! 

Smurfs 2…In 10 Words – You know what happens!  They find Captain Kook’s treasure, all the elves dance around like little blue idiots, I puke, the end.

Interview \\ Runaround Kids – This is an interview with “a small Wakefield band”, and is further evidence that there is no escaping The Simpsons:

CN: Any big non-musical influences?

J: We like the Simpsons, so the Simpsons probably.

The Greatest TV Kids of All Time – Bart comes in at #2 here.

Sunday Funday (Tons of Pics!) – Scroll about 3/4 of the way down for yet more pictures of that cool Simpsons graffiti from Vancouver. 

It Took Me Five Minutes To Figure Out How to Blog – What’s that?  You don’t have much to write about or say?  Distracting your audience with Grampa is not a bad way to go.

The Simpsons And The GOP National Security Divide – Excellent usage:

Chris Christie’s attack on Rand Paul – where Christie complained about piddling “esoteric” libertarian concerns voiced by people who were too cowardly to face “the widows and the orphans” of 9/11 -reminded me of something, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. It just came to me:

So burn that flag if you must!

But before you do, you’d better burn a few other things!

You’d better burn your shirt and your pants!

Be sure to burn your TV and car!

Oh yeah, and don’t forget to burn your house!

Because none of those things would exist without six red stripes, seven red stripes,

And a helluva lot of stars!!

[wild applause]

The quote is actually off in a few places.  Nelson says “Oh yes” not “Oh yeah”, “could exist” instead of “would exist” and it’s “six white stripes” not “six red stripes” (but that’s just obvious).  Still, he’s cribbing from SNPP, so it’s still excellent usage.

Television Shows That Just Need To End – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us:

Once the show that caused outrage in the homes of young children because of it being ‘raunchy’ and ‘outrageous’ is now a show that is as raunchy as Dora The Explorer


It’s a classic, sure, but everything must come to an end, and The Simpsons are overstaying their welcome.

Amen, brother.  Amen.

19 Responses to “Reading Digest: Cable Expansion Edition”

  1. 1 frank
    2 August 2013 at 2:50 pm

    I’m sure i’ve written this before, but I don’t know if I should be ashamed or excited at the fact that I have NEVER, EVER seen this episode (i.e. the one from where today’s quote comes from). This means that when I finally come around to watching it, it will be like watching a new episode of the Simpsons, but one that won’t actually Suck, and in fact will be one of the BEST!.

    • 2 frank
      2 August 2013 at 2:59 pm

      also that Six Musical Moments site is pretty good – one with Maggie is good, but also the one with Eddie directing traffic (although the episode was puke), and Moe.

      • 3 frank
        2 August 2013 at 2:59 pm

        All right, here’s the 4-1-1, folks. Say some gangsta is dissin’ your fly girl. You just give ’em one of these…

    • 4 Charlie Sweatpants
      2 August 2013 at 6:09 pm

      I’d be excited. Season 2 is fantastic, and that episode is the show really demonstrating how quickly it found its footing and really hit the ground running. It’s got everything: a great story, a fun/cynical theme, tons of background gags, unbelievably good writing and acting, and Phil Hartman as three different characters.

  2. 2 August 2013 at 3:35 pm

    I find weird that The simpsons have never been on cable in the US while here in Mexico we do on the FOX channel.

    The more you know!

  3. 6 rmridley
    2 August 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Hey – thanks for the ping… ‘stupid clown’

  4. 2 August 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Just to point out, that Buzzfeed article is a literal rip-off, without any form of acknowledgement, of the “Intended guest stars” article I researched and wrote for WIkisimpsons.

  5. 2 August 2013 at 9:23 pm

    “This was a little unexpected in that one of the reasons the show has never been on cable is that the over-the-air syndication deal prohibits such a thing so long as new episodes are being made. ”

    Wait, but How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory and numerous others have been syndicated to amy stations. How does that work?

    And yes, The Simpsons coming to cable would be great for me because there aren’t any channels where I live that show Simpsons repeats period.

  6. 17 Stan
    4 August 2013 at 2:05 am

    It probably means that they’re ending it. They’re just trying to hide the truth.
    Fingers crossed, this has to be it. After Season 25. Finally. With a finale that would incorporate the characters into Family Guy. Not terrible for an ending btw, could’ve gone with more 10-20 years ago, but meh.

  7. 18 Monty Python Forever
    4 August 2013 at 11:48 am

    It would be interesting to take the cable channel to the next level and make proprietary episodes, created by comedians and intellectuals. Cable would be the perfect medium, as it is much less bastardized by those damned censors than network television, and I have always appreciated the fact that Fox and FX have had much more freedom than other networks. Fox would never have made classics like this show, The X-Files, House, Married With Children, etc. if it had let the censors shit on it like everything else.

  8. 19 FireFlower
    4 August 2013 at 12:16 pm

    It says right at the top of this blog that there are no plans to cancel the show. At least if the show goes to cable we can all see the classic episodes again. I have not seen them in years. I don’t own any of the DVDs.

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