The network has ordered a 26th season of the venerable toon series, it was announced this afternoon. Renewal continues “The Simpsons” streak as the longest-running American sitcom and animated program.
“For more than a quarter of a century, ‘The Simpsons’ has captured the hearts and minds of fans in a way that transcends ages, languages and cultures,” said Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly. “This ground-breaking series is not only the longest-running scripted show in television history, it’s one of the greatest sitcoms of our time, and I’m looking forward to yet another landmark season.”
Despite its more-than-veteran status on Fox’s lineup, “The Simpsons” is still a solid ratings performer. Its season-25 premiere last Sunday ranked as the top entertainment program of the night in adults 18-49 and was up 12% from last season’s average. The program has also managed to remain in the pop culture dialogue, as creatives announced plans last month to kill off a character, stirring up Web chatter with speculation about who will get the ax.
Renewal news follows word that Fox is indeed planning a cable syndication push for the series. With a library of nearly 600 episodes at 20th Century Fox TV’s disposal, the syndie deal for cable reruns is poised to be vastly lucrative for the studio.