Disney's forthcoming acquisition of Fox has put a lot of properties up in the air, particularly The Simpsons, which is currently airing its unprecedented 30th season. It's hard to find anyone nowadays who can remember what life was like without a new Simpsons episode airing on Sunday nights, but that cornerstone of television seems shakier than ever.
However, to the joy of Simpsons fans, it seems television's longest-running scripted show will continue for at least another two seasons.
According to Variety, Fox Broadcasting Company and 20th Century Fox are nearing completion of a deal to ensure that The Simpsons remains on the air for Seasons 31 and 32. Should they both be 20 episodes long like most Simpsons seasons in the past, the show will cross the 700-episode threshold before those two new seasons are over, further cementing itself as one of the most successful shows in television history.
Of course, things aren't all sunshine and rainbows in Springfield. According to the report, the licensing fee for this would-be latest renewal is less than the show's previous renewal, which could mean The Simpsons is very close to the end of its reign. With the television industry shifting towards streaming options that are more profitable, The Simpsons could be done after Season 32, assuming the terms of these negotiations are completed.
The show's future was already cloudy, given how much more the show makes on its deal with FX, which regularly airs reruns and nets the show $750 million. Given that lucrative deal and the lessened profits of new episodes, it was thought the merger with Disney might push the House of Mouse to keep The Simpsons in reruns and end its new content.
For now, it appears those concerns can be put to rest, as Homer, Bart and the gang will likely be returning on Sunday nights for the next two seasons. That being said, fans can rejoice for the time being while also coming to the realization that this could signify the beginning of the end.