‘The Simpsons’ Says Goodbye To Marcia Wallace: Video

By | Monday March 10, 2014 @ 6:57pm PDT

wallace__131026072311Bart-weary and rather randy fourth-grade teacher Edna Krabappel made her debut during the first season of The Simpsons nearly a quarter-century ago. Last night, the character and actress behind her were given a final farewell. Marcia Wallace, who diedRead More »

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Chase Carey Says ‘The Simpsons’ Opens Digital Opportunities For FXX

By | Thursday February 6, 2014 @ 7:25am PST

Fox hopes to “create some precedents” with its digital plans for The Simpsons later this year when the long-running animated series will become “the face” of FXX, COO Chase Carey told analysts this morning in a call to discuss fiscal Q2 earnings.The-Simpsons-image-5__130806024809-275x314 No specifics yet — but the exec says that it’s one of the reasons why Fox decided to keep the re-run rights instead of licensing to someone else. “There are times when our distribution businesses have a unique ability to take advantage of a set of rights. And The Simpsons is a perfect example.” The show will “help brand…and help drive” FXX, Carey adds, but Fox isn’t “turning it into The Simpsons Channel.” Would a similar strategy also make sense for, say, FX’s The Americans? Not necessarily, Carey says. “When you get to a one-size-fits-all [strategy], I don’t think that’s the way to go….What we’re not going to do is undersell the content” when others “see values that exceed what it’s worth to us.” Read More »

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‘The Simpsons’ Sam Simon To Receive WGA’s Valentine Davies Award

By | Wednesday December 18, 2013 @ 8:43am PST

SamSimonLos Angeles – The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) has named The Simpsons co-developer, Emmy-winning television writer/director/producer, and philanthropist Sam Simon as its 2014 Valentine Davies Award honoree in recognition of his humanitarian efforts and community service on behalf of writers. Simon will be feted, along with other honorees, at the WGAW’s 2014 Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony to be held on Saturday, February 1, 2014, at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE.

“The work of Sam Simon’s life has entertained and humbled us, in equal measure. And while this Guild has often honored his wit and skill, today we honor his generosity and love – his understanding that we are, in the end, all caretakers of each other. Sam has dedicated himself to the cause of at-risk animals and people who have no other protector. A friend to them, he has become an inspiration to us, his grateful colleagues,” said WGAW President Chris Keyser.

A Writers Guild, West member since 1980, in November Simon also received the WGAW’s Animation Writers Caucus (AWC) 16th Annual Animation Writing Award, a lifetime achievement honor recognizing his contributions to the craft of animation writing.

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FXX Lands ‘The Simpsons’ In Biggest Off-Network Deal In TV History

By | Friday November 15, 2013 @ 9:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Simpsons FXX Record DealTwenty-four seasons into its run, The Simpsons is finally headed to cable. In a competitive situation with five networks bidding, FXX has landed the exclusive cable as well as VOD/non-linear rights to the longest-running comedy series in TV history. The deal also is set to make TV history as the priciest off-network pact ever, expected to fetch at least $750 million, and the first one to include full digital rights. The enormous size of the deal — which some say could potentially reach $1 billion if the series keeps producing new seasons — stems from the staggering volume of Simpsons episodes available: 530 when the show starts airing on FXX in August 2014 and growing to 574 by September 2015. At the start, FXX will have access to the first 24 seasons, with another season added when it gets off-circulation on Fox, which recently greenlighted a 26th season. For instance, Season 25 will become available on FXX when Season 26 premieres on Fox next September.

Exact terms of the deal have not been disclosed but insiders estimate that FXX would be paying about $1.25 million per week, with the length of the agreement said to be about a decade (at least eight years, possibly 10). “The Simpsons is indisputably one of the greatest shows in television history,” said FX Networks CEO John Landgraf. “This was a very long, hard and complicated negotiation and I credit the relentlessness and diligence of Chuck Saftler for getting it done.” Said FX Networks COO Saftler, “Woo Hoo!” He called the back-and-forth “the longest negotiations that I am aware of for an off-network series” that took a month from the first offer to sealing a “landmark” deal. “This is a historic deal for FXX and FX Networks and I don’t believe there will ever be another one like it,” Saftler said. Besides the sheer volume, unprecedented is the granting of full VOD/non-linear rights to a cable network in conjunction with an off-network agreement, which normally gives nets rolling 5-6 episodes. In this case, FXNOW, the soon-to-be-launched authenticated mobile viewing app of FX Networks, will offer all seasons of The Simpsons that are available on FXX. As for that staggering volume of 574 episodes and counting? While a typical syndicated show that has produced 100 episodes is on a 5-week repeat cycle — meaning that the cable network goes through all of the episodes in 5 weeks after which it starts again from the pilot — it will be months and months before The Simpsons will have to repeat an episode on FXX, giving it a feel of an original run. Saftler expects The Simpsons to expand FXX’s “reach and frequency,” broadening its audience to include everyone from today’s teenagers who watch the show on Fox, to their parents who were teenagers when the show first premiered. Because of the virtual lack of repeats, he expects fans to check back often.

It took two decades, but The Simpsons producer 20th Century Fox TV had pretty good timing when it finally took The Simpsons to the cable marketplace. Several years ago, 21st Century Fox COO Chase Carey suggested that the company could launch a Simpsons cable channel (the volume of the Simpsons library could sustain that). Instead, the longest-running scripted series will serve as a backbone of another upstart Fox cable network, FXX. Given the benefits an asset like The Simpsons provides, FXX went very aggressively after the property in an already competitive marketplace. The network had been considered the frontrunner from the get-go with its vast shelf space that can easily accommodate a 600-episode off-network series and properly run and amortize it, something established cable networks with a full dance card of syndicated fare would find harder to do. That, combined with the financial windfall for 20th TV is making observers call the deal a “win-win” for both sides, and the ideal scenario parent 21 Century Fox had been hoping for. “The Simpsons long ago crossed over from ‘brilliant award-winning comedy series’ to ‘full-fledged cultural phenomenon,’ and this landmark deal is a testament to its enduring power and relevance,” said 20th TV chairmen Gary Newman and Dana Walden. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: NFL ‘Sunday Night Football’ Steady, ‘Simpsons’ Down, ‘Revenge’ & ‘Betrayal’ Rise

By | Monday November 4, 2013 @ 9:17am PST

There was drama both on and off the field during last night’s NFL Sunday Night Football (5.7/14) Week 9 game. Houston Texans head couch Gary Kubiak had to be taken to a hospital … Read More »

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‘The Simpsons’ Pays Tribute To Marcia Wallace

By | Monday November 4, 2013 @ 7:07am PST
Nellie Andreeva

In The Simpsons‘ first episode since the death of long-time cast member Marcia Wallace, the Fox animated series opened and closed the episode with tributes to the actress, who played Bart’s teacher Mrs. Krabappel from 1990 … Read More »

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Deadline’s Best TV Stories Of The Week

Catch up with the top TV stories you missed this week:

NBC To Reboot ‘Murder, She Wrote’ With Octavia Spencer Starring, Alex Cunningham Writing And David Janollari Producing
By Nellie Andreeva – EXCLUSIVE: NBC is looking to revive one of the most successful series in TV history – Murder, She Wrote — with a brand new take from writer Alexandra Cunningham and producer David Janollari that has Oscar winner Octavia Spencer succeeding Angela Lansbury in the lead role of an astute amateur detective.

CBS Eyes Reboot Of The WB’s ‘Charmed’
By Nellie Andreeva – CBS shows have migrated to younger skewing sibling the CW — CBS pilot Ringer became a CW series, and defunct CBS vampire drama Moonlight got a second run on the sister network.

Kurt Sutter On Extending ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Past Seven Seasons, Playing Prison-Rape Victim And Being Influenced By ‘The Shield’
By The Deadline Team – The outspoken creator and showrunner of FX’s highest-rated program ever was his usual candid self at an ATAS event tonight. Read More »

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R.I.P. Marcia Wallace

By | Saturday October 26, 2013 @ 8:22am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The Simpsons co-star Marcia Wallace has died. She was 70, a week shy of her 71st birthday. “She passed at 9 PM last night due to complications from breast cancer of which she … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Sunday Night Football’ Tops, ‘Betrayal’ Drops

By | Monday October 7, 2013 @ 9:18am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

This is why the NFL will continue to extract billions of dollars from the TV networks — even a lopsided game with no suspense or intrigue like San Francisco’s 34-3 rout of Houston last night dominated everything else in primetime. In the metered markets, NBC’s Sunday Night Football averaged an 11.6/11, only 1% below the corresponding game last fall, and is expected to deliver a nightly win for the network in adults 18-49.

Betrayal is following in the footsteps of fellow new ABC drama Lucky 7 on a path toward early cancellation. In its second week, the infidelity drama posted a 1.1, down 27% from its underwhelming premiere. Its lead-in, Revenge (1.9), also was down double-digits (17%) from its third-season debut as its reboot under a new showrunner is yet to take hold, while Once Upon A Time (2.5) held steady, down a tenth (4%). Read More »

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Hot ‘Simpsons’ Intro: Guillermo Del Toro Helms Scary Opener

By | Sunday October 6, 2013 @ 4:36pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Guillermo del Toro is busy directing his haunted house film Crimson Peak, prepping the FX series The Strain — based on the vampire novel trilogy he wrote with Chuck Hogan — and releasing his new book Cabinet of Curiosities. But the master multi-tasker has found the time to direct … Read More »

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Fox Gives ‘The Simpsons’ Historic 26th Season Pickup

By | Friday October 4, 2013 @ 2:45pm PDT

On the eve of its Treehouse Of Horrors XXIV, Fox announced it has picked up The Simpsons for an historic 26th season. The announcement was made by Kevin Reilly, Chairman of Entertainment at Fox. Meanwhile, fate of the voice cast — almost always a bone of contention at series-pickup time, apparently is not this time — they’re all expected to return, an informed source says. Here’s the announcement: Read More »

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‘Simpsons’ Cartoon Character Kill-Off Mystery

By | Tuesday October 1, 2013 @ 2:35pm PDT

Fox‘s The Simpsons, which last killed off a character at the start of the century, will whack another this season. Fourteen years after Maude Flanders met the Grim Reaper on the animated comedy, another regular character … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Sunday Starts Slow With Declines, Low Debut For ‘Betrayal’

By | Monday September 30, 2013 @ 9:10am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Last night was chock-full of premieres on the broadcast networks, HBO and Showtime, and yet it was a finale that stole the spotlight — the closing episode of Breaking Bad. No numbers for the AMC drama yet but … Read More »

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‘The Simpsons’ Meets ‘Homeland’ in ‘Homerland’ Season Premiere: Video

By | Sunday September 29, 2013 @ 11:47am PDT

Fox‘s The Simpsons will be pushing Showtime‘s Homeland tonight in “Homerland,” the toon’s 25th season premiere episode. Kristen Wiig guests as an FBI agent who taps Lisa to investigate Homer’s suspicious behavior after he returns from a nuclear power plant operating convention. An hour after “Homerland” airs, Homeland‘s Season 3 debuts on Showtime opposite Fox’s post-Simpsons Family Guy/American Dad block. Here’s a full preview clip of tonight’s unusual crossover (beware autoplay):

Related: TV Teaser:  ‘Homeland’ Gets Promo Help…From ‘The Simpsons’

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TV Teaser: Showtime’s ‘Homeland’ Gets Promo Help…From Fox’s ‘The Simpsons’

By | Thursday September 26, 2013 @ 5:04pm PDT

Showtime is already prepping for the return of its hit drama Homeland by staging a Season 2 marathon this weekend ahead of the Season 3 premiere Sunday at 9 PM. But Fox is doing its part too  with the Season 25 premiere of The Simpsons, which … Read More »

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Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman, Episode 50

By | Friday September 13, 2013 @ 4:37pm PDT

Listen to (and share) episode 50 of our audio podcast Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman. Deadline’s executive financial editor and host David Bloom take a last, lingering look at who got hurt in the Time Warner-CBS fight and what a new report suggests will be coming in the future;. They also talk about whether The Simpsons is truly the world’s greatest TV asset, even as a little known value investor buys nearly 12 percent of Rupert Murdoch’s other company; buyback fever among media companies hits Disney again this year; and Wall Street’s chilly reception to Apple’s latest iPhone announcements.

Deadline Big Media, Episode 50 (MP3 format)
Deadline Big Media, Episode 50 (MP4a format)
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Fox Seeks A Single Partner To Buy ‘The Simpsons’ Cable Syndication Rights

The animated series is “the greatest television asset of all time, and certainly of the generation,20th Century Fox Television chairman Gary Newman told investors today Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘The Simpsons’ Getting the Lego Treatment; Locarno Fest Opens With ’2 Guns’ This Week

By | Tuesday August 6, 2013 @ 2:00am PDT

Woo-Hoo! ‘The Simpsons’ Lego Set Coming Next Year
Lego said Monday that it will launch its first set based on The Simpsons next year. A spokesman for the privately held Danish toymaker wouldn’t single out which characters … Read More »

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‘The Simpsons’ Eyes Financial Windfall With Cable Syndication Sale

By | Monday July 29, 2013 @ 2:55pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Twenty four years after its premiere, The Simpsons is finally going to get an off-network syndication sale on cable. Twentieth Television, the syndication arm of 20th Century Fox TV, is preparing to take out the monster … Read More »

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