While there are quite a few long-running primetime scripted series on TV - Supernatural, NCIS, etc. - one show dwarfs them all in longevity: FOX animated institution The Simpsons. Now broadcasting its 28th season, The Simpsons shows no apparent signs of stopping anytime soon, despite some speculating that the 30th season will end up being its last. No stranger to breaking records at this point, The Simpsons recently crossed the 600 episode milestone, which is obviously an achievement never reached by the vast majority of TV shows.
Of course, back in 2007, The Simpsons finally made its long-awaited jump to the big-screen in the form of the theatrically released The Simpsons Movie. Despite common complaints that The Simpsons' glory years are long past at that point, The Simpsons Movie was a favorite of both critics and audiences, holding an 88 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and hauling in a gargantuan $527 million worldwide on a production budget of only $75 million.
In the near-decade since The Simpsons Movie proved to be a resounding success, fans have naturally wondered when - or if - Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie and the rest of Springfield's inhabitants will once again grace theaters with a large-scale round of hilarity. Those behind the series have mostly sidestepped the question, saying that there were no current plans to make another movie, and that they remain focused on making each new Simpsons season the best it can possibly be. However, during a recent interview with LRM, producer James L. Brooks seemed to suggest that a second Simpsons movie might not be as unlikely as previously stated:
"Fox very much wants us to do another one, and maybe we will and maybe we won’t—that’s where it is. How do we divide our labors, and do we believe in the idea we have? We may go into a more active exploration of a second movie soon."
So, the bad news for Simpsons fans is that production on a second movie still looks to be far from imminent. Still, Brooks' statement about possibly going into "active exploration of a second movie soon" is a lot more than other Simpsons bigwigs have said concerning the prospect in quite some time. Also interesting is that FOX apparently really wants The Simpsons Movie 2, which granted isn't too surprising when one considers the first theatrical outing's enormous return on investment.
If the above noted speculation proves correct, and The Simpsons does indeed end with season 30, one wonders if that will be the event that sparks development on a second movie in the franchise. After all, were the TV series to conclude, the Simpsons' creative team could focus solely on crafting a sequel film that could serve as the ultimate capper to the beloved Springfield universe and its many popular characters. For now though, fans will just have to keep waiting and wondering.
The Simpsons season 28 airs Sundays at 8pm on FOX.