On Wednesday, the Chicago Cubs made history as the team won their first World Series title in 108 years.
On Friday, The Simpsons made history of their own.
The long-running animated series was renewed for its 29th and 30th seasons Friday, taking the show through the 2018-19 season. By this time, The Simpsons would have amassed 669 episodes – the most number in U.S. Primetime history among scripted series, passing Gunsmoke’s 635. Currently, The Simpsons in its 28th season, already the longest-running series in television history.
The series’ last two-year renewal pact came in May 2015.
So far this season, The Simpsons is averaging 7.2 million viewers across all platforms – outdrawing several current primetime series including Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., How To Get Away With Murder, all NBC sitcoms, and everything on The CW. The Simpsons is also Fox’s second-highest rated show, behind Empire and the second highest-rated sitcom currently on the air, behind The Big Bang Theory when all metrics are factored in. The Simpsons also continues to command six figures for a 30-second commercial spot.
The Simpsons has experienced a bit of a resurgence in recent years, thanks to past seasons being made more available to viewers, through FXX and The Simpsons World app, where every episode (except the current season) is available. Also, the producers have made viral videos featuring The Simpsons clan, commenting on everything from the latest pop culture craze to the presidential race.
Also, FXX once again is airing a non-stop Simpsons marathon featuring every episode ever made beginning Thanksgiving Day. The first marathon ran two years ago and was deemed a massive success – The prime-time portion often drew one million viewers a night, beating several high-profile cable shows – even outdrawing CNN’s eight-hour Rahm Emanuel infomercial Chicagoland.
While The Simpsons does have the title of long-running scripted program in primetime history, it still hasn’t matched the longevity of several current first-run syndicated strips on the air, including Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy! – the latter two are expected to be renewed in a few weeks, taking those shows through the 2019-20 season. And of course, 60 Minutes, 20/20, Meet The Press, Cops (now on Spike), and all four soap operas are all ahead of The Simpsons in terms of longevity and episode count.
Just behind The Simpsons is syndicated conflict talkers Maury and Jerry Springer, who is currently in his 26th season and Extra, now in its 22nd season.
In a press release, Fox quoted Homer Simpson as saying “Take that Gunsmoke! You lost a race you didn’t even know you were running!”
Of course, Homer finds it is easier to argue with a dead guy with a gun.