The Simpsons will air its 636th episode next week. It doesn’t seem a special number, but it actually is.
The TV show Gunsmoke, from the 50s, is the current “TV’s longest running primetime scripted series”, with 635 episodes. The most recently aired episode of The Simpsons, “Lisa Gets the Blues“, is the yellow family’s 635th episode.
Next week, on April 29, 2018; The Simpsons is airing a new episode (“Forgive and Regret“), which will be the show’s 636th episode, thus surpassing Gunsmoke‘s number of episodes, and therefore The Simpsons will become TV’s longest running primetime scripted series.
And, given that The Simpsons still has more episodes to air during the current season (Season 29), it is renewed for a 30th Season, and the people who do the show has said there is no intention to end anytime soon, it may be fair to say that The Simpsons will probably hold that record for a long, long time.
Promotional Images for upcoming 18th episode of season 29, titled “Forgive and Regret“, have been released by FOX. The episodes air on April 29, 2018. This episode will mark the show as TV’s longest running primetime scripted series, surpassing Gunsmoke.
It is rare to see a show actually uptick in the ratings at this time of year, with daylight saving time and fewer people watching early in effect, yet “The Simpsons” managed to do that on Sunday, and broke the four-week run down in fraction town.
Sunday’s episode scored a 1.0/4 rating and pulled in 2.262 million viewers. Around 57% of those viewers were in the 18-49 demographic, equating to approximately 1.3 million viewers.
This is the first time “The Simpsons” hasn’t been fractional since returning from its hiatus; the last episode over a 1.0 was “Frink Gets Testy” on January 14, which garnered 3.3/11 and 8.042m.
It was also the only show of Fox’s primetime schedule to nab a 1.0+ rating – with the rest of the originals 0.6-0.8 – and be over the two million viewers mark.
This season so far is averaging a 1.6 rating and 3.8m viewers.
The upturn in ratings is even more surprising considering the increased competition; around 22-25 million viewers were located elsewhere on the other three broadcast networks during “The Simpsons”‘ timeslot, plus competition from an NBA playoff on cable that ran into the timeslot (around four million viewers and very male-skewing).
This poster honestly thought “The Simpsons” would crash to a new low on Sunday, given it was against the high-rated “Country Music Awards”. It definitely surprised me, but let’s see whether it holds up next week, and if it does, the uptick this past Sunday is less likely be due to people tuning in after the controversial Apu moment in the previous episode! See you Tuesday!