The chances are that The Simpsons has been on TV for longer than the person reading this has been alive, but will it ever actually come to an end?
Having first aired in the US in December 1989, The Simpsons has been on American TV screens across five different decades – a remarkable feat that undoubtedly has surpassed even the wildest dreams of the show’s original creator, Matt Groening. It is widely agreed, however, that the much-loved animation series is not quite what it used to be. And, as the show approaches its 45th birthday, one can’t help but wonder if and when The Simpsons will ever come to an end.
Will The Simpsons ever come to an end? Here’s what we think
In short, our verdict is yes – The Simpsons will call it a day eventually, just not any time soon. All good things must of course come to an end, but we don’t think time is up for Homer et al. just yet.
Of course, it’s no secret that newer episodes aren’t resonating with crowds the way that they used to, but it’s certainly not cheap to produce a high-quality animation like The Simpsons, and networks like Fox simply wouldn’t continue to do so unless they were getting something out of it.
Whether it’s through merch, advertising or streaming, (it’s likely a combination of all three), The Simpsons must still be one of the top-earning shows on TV, and we suspect that it will continue to air until that changes.
The show also continues to maintain a rather strong footing in popular culture, particularly on social media. Whether it be on TikTok, Twitter or Facebook, memes, edits and references to the show are still posted constantly – so clearly the emotional attachment to Springfield still exists among many.
What has the show said?
Realistically, it’s anyone’s guess when The Simpsons will finally call it quits. With that being said though, one of the show’s longest-serving cast members has speculated on when he thinks we may see the last of Springfield on our screens.
In an interview with People in April, Hank Azaria (the voice of Mo, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy and formerly Apu), gave his two cents, as he admitted he does “wonder” about the future of the cartoon.
“You know, we’re doing season 35 and 36. I would guess that it would probably go to 40.” Azaria told the magazine. “It seems to be doing well.”
Explaining why the show has been able to last as long as it has, Azaria pointed out that “The voices don’t really age”, and highlighted the fact that the animation has only gotten “better and quicker”.
Fox’s decision to renew The Simpsons for seasons 35 & 36 means that the show will continue until at least 2025 and will likely hit the 800 (eight-hundred!) episode mark. How’s that for longevity?
Do fans think The Simpsons will ever come to an end?
The fan view is largely similar to that of Forever Geek’s, in that they do believe it will come to an end one day, just not a day in the immediate to near future.
In a thread on Reddit’s R/Televison last year, one fan theorized that the show will “almost certainly try recasting the main characters eventually”, suggesting that The Simpsons could continue beyond the retirement of the main voice acting cast.
If one was to think of it in that way, you could make the case for The Simpsons effectively being more of a soap-opera than a regular TV show, just with the occasional break every few months to cope with the animation demands.
Of course, these are just theories. At the time of writing, there are no publicised plans to put an end to The Simpsons, and it looks like we won’t have to say goodbye to our favourite dysfunctional family anytime soon.