Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Cartoon Historian Lesson 14: The Simpsons Pt.3

Welcome to Lesson 14 which is part 3 of the History of The Simpsons.

Due to the show's success, over the summer of '90 the Fox Network decided to switch The Simpsons' timeslot from Sunday nights to Thursday nights,so that it could compete with The Cosby Show on NBC, the number one show at the time.

Through the summer,several news outlets published stories about the supposed "Bill vs. Bart" rivalry. "Bart Gets an F" (season two, 1990) was the first episode to air against The Cosby Show, and it received a low Nielsen rating,tying for eighth behind The Cosby Show.

The Simpsons has been praised by many critics, being described as "the most irreverent and unapologetic show on the air." In a 1990 review of the show, Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly described it as "the American family at its most complicated, drawn as simple cartoons. It's this neat paradox that makes millions of people turn away from the three big networks on Sunday nights to concentrate on The Simpsons."

Tucker would also describe the show as a "pop-cultural phenomenon, a prime-time cartoon show that appeals to the entire country." Now we know Why the Simpsons were so popular.

Anyway, On February 9, 1997, The Simpsons surpassed The Flintstones with the episode "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show" as the longest-running prime-time animated series in the United States.

In 2004, The Simpsons replaced The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952 to 1966) as the longest-running sitcom (animated or live action) in the United States.

In 2009, The Simpsons surpassed The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet's record of 435 episodes and is now recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's longest running sitcom.

In October 2004, Scooby-Doo briefly overtook The Simpsons as the American animated show with the highest number of episodes.

However,In April 2005, Network Executives,again cancelled Scooby-Doo,which finished with 371 episodes. The Simpsons reclaimed the title with 378 episodes at the end of their seventeenth season.

In May 2007, The Simpsons reached their 400th episode at the end of the eighteenth season.

The year 2007 marked the twentieth anniversary of The Simpsons franchise. As of the twenty-first season (2009–2010), The Simpsons is the longest-running American primetime television series,having surpassed Gunsmoke.

However, Gunsmoke's episode count of 635 episodes far surpasses The Simpsons, which would not reach that mark until its approximate 29th season,under normal programming schedules.

In 2009, Fox began a year-long celebration of the show titled "Best. 20 Years. Ever." to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the premiere of The Simpsons. One of the first parts of the celebration is the "Unleash Your Yellow" contest in which entrants design a poster for the show.

On February 26, 2009, Fox renewed the show and ordered two additional seasons, which would take the series through its twenty-second season.

The celebration ended this January with The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special - In 3-D! On Ice!. This was a documentary special by documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock that examines the "cultural phenomenon of The Simpsons.

The Simpsons has won dozens of awards since it debuted as a series. They've won 25 Primetime Emmy Awards,26 Annie Awards and a Peabody Award.

In a 1998 issue celebrating the 20th century's greatest achievements in arts and entertainment. Plus,Time magazine named The Simpsons the century's best television series. In that same issue, Time included Bart Simpson in the Time 100, the publication's list of the century's 100 most influential people.

Bart was the only fictional character on that list. On January 14, 2000, the Simpsons were awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Also in 2000, Entertainment Weekly magazine TV critic Ken Tucker named The Simpsons the greatest television show of the 1990s.

Viewers of a UK television channel have voted "The Simpsons" at the top of two polls: 2001's 100 Greatest TV shows, and 2005's 100 Greatest Cartoons, with Homer Simpson voted into first place in 2001's 100 Greatest TV Characters. Homer would also place ninth on Entertainment Weekly's list of the "50 Greatest TV icons".

In 2002, The Simpsons ranked #8 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. In 2007 it was included in TIME's list of the "100 Best TV Shows of All Time". In 2008 the show raked 1st placed on Entertainment Weekly's "Top 100 Shows of the Past 25 Years".

The popularity of The Simpsons has made it a billion-dollar merchandizing industry. The title family and supporting characters appear on everything from t-shirts to posters from trading cards to video games.

The Simpsons has inspired special editions of well-known board games, including Clue, Scrabble, Monopoly, Operation, and The Game of Life, as well as the trivia games What Would Homer Do? and Simpsons Jeopardy!.

Several card games such as trump cards and The Simpsons Trading Card Game have also been released.

Many official or unofficial Simpsons books such as episode guides have been published. Many episodes of the show have been released on DVD and VHS over the years.

When the first season DVD was released in 2001, it quickly became the best-selling television DVD in history. Seasons one through twelve have been released on DVD in the U.S.,Europe,Australia,New Zealand,and Latin America.

In 2003, about 500 companies around the world were licensed to use Simpsons characters in their advertising.

As a promotion for the The Simpsons Movie, twelve 7-Eleven stores were transformed into Kwik-E-Marts and sold Simpsons related products. These included "Buzz Cola", "Krusty-O" cereal, Pink doughnuts with sprinkles, and "Squishees".

On April 9, 2009, the United States Postal Service unveiled a series of five 44 cent stamps featuring Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie, to commemorate the show's twentieth anniversary.

The Simpsons is the first television series still in production to receive this recognition. The stamps, designed by Matt Groening, were made available for purchase on May 7, 2009.

And there you have it,The History of the Simpsons. The Show has definatly gone downhill,but when it was good,it was Very good. I still love the Simpsons,despite the crappily written newer eps.

Well that's gonna do it for now.

Class Dismissed!

*The Simpsons end theme plays*


Stefan said...

The Simpson have really come a long way.

A really awesome look at the History of the Simpsons.

Stefan said...

Oh,and If this 3 part lesson seems rushed to you. It is. I needed to get this lesson done and I had other things to do.