Fox Broadcasting will lose several top execs and the television studio that supplies many of its biggest hits when Disney finalizes its $71.3 billion purchase of most of 21st Century Fox’s assets during the next few months—but the network has locked in one of its most valuable properties for two more seasons.
The Simpsons, which is already the longest-running primetime scripted show in TV history, has been renewed for two more seasons, Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier said today at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif.
With The Simpsons currently in its 30th season, today’s renewal extends the animated comedy’s run through Season 32, which means Fox will continue to broadcast original Simpsons episodes through at least 2021. At the end of Season 32, Fox will have aired 713 episodes in total since the show began its run.
“Woo hoo! 32 seasons! Watch your back, Meet the Press,” said Homer Simpson, the show’s patriarch, in a statement.
The renewal puts to rest speculation about The Simpsons’ future in light of the Disney-Fox deal. Given that 20th Century Fox Television, which produces the series, will be moving to Disney (Fox Broadcasting, meanwhile, will be spun off into a new company, called Fox, alongside Fox News, Fox Sports and Fox Business Network), some wondered whether The Simpsons would ultimately relocate to ABC so Disney could keep its new asset in-house.
Fox Broadcasting execs had long dismissed the possibility that the network would lose The Simpsons to ABC, which is another reason that execs were aggressive about finalizing the two-season renewal.
The Simpsons first began airing in 1989, though the characters had previously been introduced in animated segments during episodes of The Tracey Ullman Show, one of Fox’s first shows.
This season, The Simpsons is averaging 1.9 in the 18-49 demo and 4.8 million total viewers, according to Fox. The show has a multiplatform average audience of 7.5 million total viewers.