The Simpsons Takes Aim at Gunsmoke Before Record-Breaking 636th Episode

It's looking like there's a new yellow, spiky-haired sheriff in town.

Ahead of The Simpsons' 636th episode airing this Sunday, which officially has Fox's animated series become the longest-running scripted primetime television show in history, Fox has released a promo on YouTube showing Maggie Simpson duel Marshal Matt Dillon, the protagonist of previous record-holder Gunsmoke, for the distinction.

While the mismatch duel is certainly played for laughs, Maggie has proved herself to be the most capable family member with a pistol having famously shot Mr. Burns in an iconic 1995 episode of the long-running series.

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The episode itself is titled "Forgive and Regret" with Simpson patriarch Homer learning an old family secret from his father, Abe.

The Simpsons, which spun out of an animated segment as part of Fox's The Tracey Ullman Show on December 17, 1989, is currently in the middle of its 29th season.

The previous record holder, Gunsmoke, premiered in 1955 running for 20 seasons until 1975. While the Western TV series ran for less seasons than The Simpsons, TV seasons received considerably larger episode orders each year with a single season sometimes containing as many as 39 episodes, compared to The Simpsons which averages around 22 episodes per season.

The Simpsons airs its record-breaking 636th episode on Sunday, April 29 at 8 PM ET on Fox.

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