After over thirty years on air, The Simpsons is showing no sign of slowing down or stopping. The 33rd season ended in May 2022 and a 34th season is on the way. With it now having over 700 episodes, there is obviously some speculation about when (the 1000th episode?) and how the longest running scripted series on American television might end.
Shortly after the 700th episode aired, showrunner Al Jean revealed to the Radio Times that The Simpsons almost ended at the end of the 23rd season in 2011. “I mentioned that there would be an ending where the last episode, they’d be going back to the Christmas pageant from the first episode [Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire], so that the whole series was a continuous loop – that’s how I would end it, if I had to.”
“But to be honest, the talk of ending, especially as we’re doing really well on Disney Plus in the US and the UK, and other countries in the Americas, I don’t see anybody going, ‘let’s wrap it up, or figure out how to get out of it’ at the moment’. I think we’re the number one scripted show in the US, and with the new episodes as well.”
Jean has worked out how long it would take to get to the thousandth episode; “I calculated that if we make it to 1,000 episodes, that’s 12 more seasons… So I’ll just be saying, I’ll be very happy to be here in 12 seasons’ time… [but] it’s not just a hop, skip and a jump, it’s a little further than that…”
No other American television series can come close to comparing to The Simpsons – and it’s still one of the best sitcoms on TV. Homer, Marge, Bart, and Lisa have evolved with the times, yet remain mysteriously ageless. Of course, British TV shows like Coronation Street and Doctor Who have been airing since the 1960s.
Check out our guide to the best animated series of all time.