Disney is now officially set to buy FOX's movie and TV studio, and as usual, The Simpsons predicted this turn of events long in advance. The Simpsons has been on the air for nearly 30 years, and few pop culture institutions have touched the awareness of the masses to the extent that Homer and family have. There seems to be a Simpsons quote appropriate to just about every real life situation, and the series' characters and colorful universe continue to resonate with audiences the world over.
It's not really a surprise that The Simpsons managed to predict Disney buying FOX, as the animated hit boasts a long history of successful pop culture predictions. The most famous such forecast at this point is probably The Simpsons' 2000 prediction that Donald Trump would one day become the President of the United States. The Simpsons also predicted that Arnold Schwarzenegger would battle Satan in a film - which he did in 1999's End of Days - and that Siegfried and Roy's tigers would go berserk and attack during a performance.
The Simpsons' Disney/FOX prediction was brought to light once again via the Twitter account @simpsons_tweets, which made the following post reminding fans of the fateful prognostication.
That screenshot is taken from the 1998 season 10 Simpsons episode "When You Dish Upon a Star," written by Richard Appel and directed by Pete Michels. In the episode, Homer becomes close friends with then-Hollywood power couple Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger, only to lose their trust when he starts revealing their secrets to others. Ron Howard also cameos, as does fellow industry bigwig Brian Grazer. Amusingly, Howard is shown pitching ideas to Grazer on the Disney-owned FOX lot, and Grazer's office has a Star Wars poster in it. Disney would of course go on to buy Lucasfilm in 2012, and Howard would go on direct the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story.
As for The Simpsons' future, one assumes that Disney won't be in too big a hurry to cancel a show that still draws some of the highest ratings on broadcast TV, and FOX - who will still control the actual TV network - will be happy to work out a deal to keep The Simpsons on the air. How much longer The Simpsons' producers and cast will want to keep making the show is another issue entirely. Showrunner Al Jean has hinted that season 30 might be the last, but nothing is official as of yet.
The Simpsons season 29 returns to FOX on Sunday, January 7.