‘The Simpsons’ Eyed for Billion-Dollar Cable Syndication Sale

The Simpsons Renewed
Courtesy of Fox

Deal wouldn't trigger cancellation of long-running toon

The Simpsons” may be headed to cable for the first time, as Twentieth Century Fox TV’s syndie arm plans to shop the toon’s vast library to cable nets in the near future.

A source confirmed to Variety that 20th TV is eyeing cable syndication deals that would not affect the existing syndication deals with TV stations already established for the Matt Groening comedy, which currently is 24 seasons deep on Fox. TV Guide first reported the potential sale.

With 500+ episodes of “The Simpsons” stocked up in 20th TV’s library, the move to cable would be a lucrative and long-awaited transition for the series that could bring in excess of $1 billion for News Corp. given each episode could cost a cable buyer over $1 million.

Another News Corp. cable net, FX Networks, is a likely buyer, perhaps for its comedy sibling net FXX. But Turner Broadcasting and Viacom could also be looking to buy the property.

However, unlike most syndication deals, the “Simpsons”-cable syndication does not spell doom for the program as a whole.

A source at Fox tells Variety that the net has no plans in the near term to cancel the animated skein, leaving “The Simpsons” potentially syndicated on both broadcast and cable, while still rolling out new episodes on Fox.

“The Simpsons,” which debuted on Fox in 1989, has been syndicated on exclusively broadcast TV stations since the early ’90s.

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  1. occultology says:

    ‘The Simpsons’ is still going, but NOT going strong. The show hasn’t been very funny or even all that creative for 5 years now. (Rarely does its best character, the super-villain C. Montgomery Burns, make an appearance anymore—second only to Darth Vader in evilness). ‘Family Guy’ is the current reigning champion in animation on all levels. ‘FG’ is cutting-edge in humor and daring, and it’s always going for that knockout-punch guffaw. Perhaps when the Griffins meet the Simpsons this Fall in their combined episode the Family Guy magic mojo will rub off on the Springfieldians.

  2. Wow, can’t believe Simpsons are still going strong until this day. I remember watching it in ’89 and thinking it was cool, and to still see it lasting until ’13 and beyond is nuts. Amazing job.

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