The Simpson will continue to broadcast new episodes at least until 2021 after the renewal of the animation series for two more seasons. By then it will belong to Disney. One of the most famous productions in the history of television will reach that year the 32nd season and 713 episodes. But at least until its end nobody will be able to see the complete deliveries of the most famous cathodic icon neither on Netflix, Amazon, HBO or Movistar.
The origin of this incongruity is in the very birth of comedy, today the longest-running weekly series on American television. When Fox released it on December 17, 1989, television was a very different industry. The contracts fixed then, to not give wings to the incipient competition, that until the project finished its original journey could only be recovered under the seal of its producer (obviating the sale of international rights), as the specialized magazine explains Variety. In this case, The Simpson, of FOX, it had to limit itself to exploiting its rights in the subsidiary FX – they were sold for 750 million dollars – and the Hulu platform, of which Fox is a partner. In all these cases, never in complete emission and à la carte.
Since the late eighties, television has gone through multiple revolutions. Series as Friends, Seinfeld or The Office (the most watched series on Netflix of those that the house has not produced) have enjoyed fruitful second lives, with the repetitions of the cable first and the platforms of streaming after. But the people of Springfield have not enjoyed this success. A production that seems done to see in repetition could not take advantage of contracts like the one that Netflix signed to maintain Friends throughout 2019 paying 100 million dollars.
The platform sought a solution to this hole in its catalog. He went to the fountain and hired the creator, Matt Groening, to sign for them (Disenchantment, that this 2019 opens its second season. The relationship is so good that the content director of the platform, Ted Sarandos, has just made a cameo in The Simpson, where he appears disguised as the monstrous Demogorgon of Stranger Things to convince Homer to marathon a series without Marge.
The paradox is that the Fox chain would obtain more economic benefit by canceling the series than by renewing it. with the same costs and salaries, according to Variety. To counteract this effect, the study (for whom it is still profitable, thanks to international rights) has decided to reduce with the renewal what it charges the channel for the license cost, Explain The Hollywood Reporter.
The news for the team comes weeks before, in addition, that the series is at another crossroads. Disney will close the purchase of Fox between March and June. So The Simpson they will become part of the mouse house. Under this new position, the chain, which will remain in the hands of Rupert Murdoch, will have to calibrate in 2021 if he is interested in continuing to face the costs while the benefits are outsourced in another study. Disney, in turn, must decide if Groening's humor fits into his huge box of brands, if perhaps it is better to sell his 32 seasons for a stratospheric valuation (which is estimated at more than one billion) or if, simply, he decides integrate them into Disney + or the new Hulu. If they decide to cancel it in 2021, all the options will already be on the table.
At the moment, the renovation solved one of the last television puzzles before the agreement comes to fruition. Another that has also been resolved this week is the renewal of Modern Family for an eleventh season. The hit comedy is broadcast on ABC, the Disney channel, but it is produced by 20th Century Fox. Now all the exploitation benefits will be at home. Hundreds of hours of content that, in this case, already take advantage of the platforms.