November 2013 Archives

Fox Sells Simpsons Cable Rights To Itself

simpsons rich

Scrappy cable underdog FXX landed a major deal with its fellow 21st Century Fox subsidiaries 20th Century Fox Television and Twentieth Television (which are different companies, somehow...?) for the exclusive cable and streaming rights to The Simpsons for ten years, and now a bunch of rich people are going to get richer, hooray! The deal is valued at $750 million, making it the largest off-network sale ever.

FXX is a terribly-named spinoff of FX that launched two months ago. It airs comedy shows like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, reruns of Parks & Recreation, and who knows what else. Next August, they'll have every episode of The Simpsons. So many, they don't quite know what to do with them:

FXX is expected to stack six to eight episodes on one or two nights, probably in thematic packages, rather than air them across the week as in traditional syndication.

Hey, I already made things easy for them! Imagine a whole night of those dumb trilogy episodes where historical/fictional figures are replaced with Simpsons characters.

Additionally, every episode will be available streaming on demand:

Deal also calls for the vast archive of "Simpsons" segs to be available on VOD via the soon-to-launch authenticated FXNow mobile viewing app -- which is sure to be a draw for the service as "Simpsons" segs have never been widely distributed online and have never been on any SVOD platform.

Well, not legally - in a weird coincidence, the internet's most popular Simpsons streaming site shut down just a few weeks ago. Naturally, to use FXNow you'll have to prove you're a cable subscriber and not one of those freeloading hippie cord-cutter types. Meanwhile, local stations have run out of good seasons to air:

Most local stations have used up all of their allotted runs of older seasons of the show, even as they get access to the most recent episodes after the conclusion of each season on the Fox network.
Haw haw, nobody wants the newer episodes.

Harry Shearer is bitter because the official press release about the deal names eleven executives - John Landgraf, Chuck Saftler, Gary Newman, Dana Walden, Greg Meidel, Steve MacDonald, James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Al Jean, Chris Antola, and Lori Bernstein - and zero cast members. Shearer and the rest of the cast won't get to share in the profits, and neither will the animators, who continue to deal with pay reductions, shortened production schedules, and longer layoffs.

[Variety]

Seth MacFarlane is Making A Cartoon About Mexican People

Bordertown
With The Cleveland Show cancelled and American Dad heading for TBS, it was looking like Fox might be down to just three Seth MacFarlane-produced shows on their schedule: Family Guy, Dads, and the upcoming Cosmos reboot. Luckily, Fox immediately sprang into action and greenlit his latest cartoon (his fourth for the network), thus maintaining their quota:
Fox has given a 13-episode order to Bordertown, from MacFarlane and Family Guy's Mark Hentemann. Set in a fictitious desert town near the U.S.-Mexico border, Bordertown centers on the intertwining daily lives of neighbors Bud Buckwald and Ernesto Gonzales. Bud, a married father of three, is a Border Patrol agent who feels threatened by the cultural changes that have transformed his neighborhood. Living next door is Ernesto, an industrious Mexican immigrant and father of four, who is proud to be making it in America. As Bud and Ernesto's paths begin to cross, their families become bound by friendship, romance and conflict.

Fox Airs Wrong Mrs. Krabappel Episode

doh
Late last week, Fox announced plans to honor the passing of Simpsons voice actress Marcia Wallace by airing the classic Season 3 episode "Bart the Lover," for which she'd won an Emmy.

However, viewers on Sunday were instead presented with the Season 22 travesty "The Nedliest Catch," the stunt episode where viewers got to decide the fate of Mrs. Krabappel and Ned Flander's relationship, also known as "Nedna."

Entertainment Weekly, which had announced the news, updated their story to explain the switcheroo:

The network originally announced plans to re-air Wallace's Emmy-winning episode from the show's third season, "Bart the Lover," but "technical issues" clearing the 20-year-old episode prevented the last-minute switch and a newer episode featuring her character had to be chosen instead.

Apparently, Fox is now literally incapable of broadcasting quality Simpsons episodes.