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Coming Up on The Simpsons

Published January 30, 2007 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of Fox.
Homer The Simpsons
The Simpsons has been on for 18 years and continues to surprise the fans. This year will end with the 400th episode milestone, and the show's producers let us in on a few of the upcoming secrets.

Upcoming The Simpsons Secrets


"We've done an amazing thing this year," said showrunner Al Jean. "The episode we say is the 400th will actually be the 400th."

Joking aside, they actually have not decided which episode will be #400 yet. "There are two that are going to air that night," said Jean. "One is a satire of 24, where we get Kiefer Sutherland and Mary Lynn Rajskub to do roles. It's a really intricate, really clever script by Ian Maxtone-Graham. And then another writer, Tim Long, did the second show, in which Kent Brockman says something that gets the news station fined by the FCC, and he's fired. And you know, we deal with the issues of what you can and can't say on television in a show that will be seen by a lot of people."

James L. Brooks joked that the viewers should vote on which to call #400, but Jean put it in practical terms. "We haven't seen them fully colorized yet, but those are definitely the two that will air that night."



With the FCC episode, The Simpsons continues to walk a fine line. "It's a tricky thing because we're trying to show something that the FCC won't allow on TV, so we're having to figure out how to do that. But you know, any show that deals with comedy that's on the edge gets into some trouble. And yeah, it is somewhat satirizing things that we've gone through, and other shows."

Expect more guest voices in this and next season. "In February we have two great shows: Natalie Portman and Eric Idle. Eric Idle in a show where we satirize the 7-Up movies. He plays the filmmaker. It's terrific. We have Meg Ryan, Stephen Sondheim, James Patterson, Peter Bogdanovich, and Andy Dick in one episode on March 4th. And then next season we've got an episode that has Stephen Colbert and Lionel Richie that will probably be our premiere, among others."

The Simpsons airs Sundays at 8 on Fox.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Fox.
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