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Fox Renews 'Simpsons' To Make It Longest-Running Primetime Series

Fox has renewed 'The Simpsons' for two more seasons to make the animated comedy TV's longest-running primetime series in history.

'Simpsons' had already tied current record-holder, CBS Western drama series 'Gunsmoke', with its twentieth season. However, with its two season pick-up, Homer and the gang will move well ahead of it. In fact, the 44-episode order will bring the total number of 'Simpsons' episodes to an impressive 493.

'Gunsmoke' aired for twenty seasons, from 1955 to 1975, but had a whopping 635 episodes. The show did half-hour episodes from 1955–1961, before moving to the one-hour format later that year.

The color episodes of the show, which began in 1966, are the most widely syndicated episodes of the entire series' run and are still aired on many stations. 'Law & Order', now in its 19th season, is another show that has been inching closer to Western classic's season mark.

'The Simpsons' debuted on December 17, 1989. Twelve years ago, the show surpassed 'The Flintstones' as the longest-running animated series. The series has won dozens of awards including 24 Emmy Awards, 26 Annie Awards and a Peabody Award.

The family was conceived by Matt Groening shortly before a pitch for a series of animated shorts. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, with Bart playing him.

The shorts became a part of 'The Tracey Ullman Show' on April 19, 1987, before it was developed into a half-hour sitcom of its own.

February 27, 2009 |

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