Simpsons win two more years on TV

Homer, Bart and the dysfunctional family that is The Simpsons, the longest-running animated television show in history, will live on for at least two more years, Fox television said on Monday.

Fox Broadcasting Company has commissioned two more seasons of the hit series, taking it up to the end of its 19th year at the end of the 2007/08 season.

The Simpsons is a cultural institution and will celebrate a milestone 400 episodes in May 2007,” the network said in a statement.

The animated series featuring the quirky yellow family that wreaks weekly havoc in their fictional hometown of Springfield debuted on January 14 1990 and entered the Guinness World Records book last year.

The irreverent show, which has made its name by poking satirical fun at everything from United States politics to gay marriage, will broadcast its 400th episode in May 2007.

Recognised as a pop-culture icon, boorish family patriarch Homer Simpson’s annoyed grunt of “D’oh!” is an official word in the Oxford English Dictionary.

The show’s animated format and characters—who include the mischievous Bart, his sisters Lisa and Maggie and their mother, Marge—also allow The Simpsons to convey messages that no other shows would dream of tackling.

The show’s subject matter has frequently caused outrage, including one infamous episode portraying adoption and poverty in Brazil that prompted a protest from the city of Rio de Janeiro, which threatened to sue.

Former US vice-president Dan Quayle was mercilessly ribbed by series creator Matt Groening and his team—in the guise of Bart—in 1992 after he notoriously misspelled the world “potato” during a visit to an elementary school.

Other satirical barbs have included cultural and religious subjects, political jibes, pokes at industrialists and rampant capitalism, swipes at top sports personalities and more than the occasional attack on the French.

The groundskeeper of Bart’s school, grumpy Scotsman Willie, coined the unflattering description of the French as “cheese-eating surrender monkeys”.—Sapa-AFP


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