The Simpsons Network?

All Simpsons, All The Time? News Corp. COO Chase Carey said earlier this week that Fox is considering starting an entire digital TV channel devoted to airing only The Simpsons. With over 500 episodes in the can (486 have aired to date) and no cancellation in sight, it seems like a very profitable idea. I love the concept – but why stop there? If successful, perhaps someday they’ll be channels devoted solely to South Park, or even Looney Tunes. Cowabunga – Count me in!


  • http://greasypigstudios.com arvin

    can they show them all in order, all the time? and overnight they should show them with commentary track.

    • Trond M.

      If it’s a digital channel (and I can’t imagine it isn’t), they could broadcast it with both regular and commentary track all the time.

  • http://richardsmithstudios.webs.com/ Richard

    OH…MY…GOD!!!
    Is that even a plausible idea? This sound absurd!

  • http://animationanomaly.com Charles Kenny

    If you put them all on Netlfix/Hulu that would essentially be the same thing, only better.

    No chance of that happening due to the way revenues work in Hollywood.

  • Justin Delbert

    One of my fantasies is a station with just Looney Tunes. There’s enough material to do such a thing. The Simpsons are about to reach the number 500 (I think), so a Simpsons channel can be done. Where I live, the Simpsons do NOT air on RERUNS. Once it ends (if it ends), that’s it; no reruns. I’ll be waiting to see what happens.

    • Funkybat

      Have to say. I’m curious as to where you live. Unless it’s overseas (non-US) it is very hard for me to imagine a place in the continental U.S. that wouldn’t have Simpsons reruns in syndication on some channel. Hell, I’ve been to rural Maine and been able to see The Simpsons.

      As for the “network” idea, it sounds kinda gimmicky. It is hard for me to picture it ever happening as long as there is money to be made syndicating the show, otherwise it would just cannibalize the repeats on broadcast stations.

      On the upside, I suppose a Simpsons network would finally give me the chance to catch the many episodes I skipped during the dark ages of 2003-2007 when I broke my decade-and-a-half long run of watching every episode as they first ran on FOX. It just got painful for a while there…

    • Funkybat

      The problem with a “Looney Tunes” channel is that, unlike the Simpsons, Looney Tunes shorts are only a few minutes long each. Even if you include the early B/W Bosko-era stuff (which I would certainly approve of!) you wouldn’t only have so much programming before it all starts to repeat. There would probably also be a temptation to include the 70s/80s era stuff which doesn’t really measure up to the classics. A “WB Cartoons” channel would probably work, if it included all of the above AND Tiny Toons, Animaniacs, Freakazoid, Pinky & the Brain (though PLEASE no Baby Looney Tunes or Loonatics!) Of course, Time Warner already has a couple of different “cartoon” networks but they don’t seem to show much of this sort of thing.

  • Neil Emmett

    Hmm, I vaguely remember reading something about a Taiwanese channel devoted solely to a popular puppet series (the one released in English as Wulin Warriors a few years back), so it may have a precedent somewhere in the world…

  • http://www.bigfott.com Galen

    Sure, an all-Simpsons channel…until they lose focus and start playing other stuff, like every other channel has.

    • http://hand-drawn-animation.blogspot.com David Nethery

      Sort of like the “Disney Channel” was in the beginning when it used to run films made by or related in some way to Walt Disney ? Now what the hell is it ? And why would anyone watch it ?

      • Marie

        Or like MTV? LOL …Hmmmm what does the m stand for now?

      • Jason

        “Maternity.” ;)

  • Kristjan B

    I thought DVDs were for 24 hour watch any time you need not sure why they need this channel is the Simpsons penomonia on the wain?

    • what_in_the_cel

      Why get off the couch to change a dvd like a goon when Tyranno-Vision decides what I should look at?

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Does this mean we might see the Tracey Ullman shorts again?

    • Funkybat

      I think those must have been buried in a salt mine or something, if it weren’t for YouTube and bootlegs, I wouldn’t have been able to see any of those for over 20 years….

  • kd13245

    Nickelodeon is basically already doing this with Spongebob. But in all seriousness, a channel like this would be awesome. Then a Looney Tunes (since over 1000 shorts have been produced) would be good, and then a Classic Disney shorts channel. Maybe with old shows sandwiched in between time to time, since not as many shorts were produced. That would be nice.

    • snip2364

      How is Nick doing this with Spongebob? With Nicktoons? You realize Spongebob only takes up about 30% of their airtime. I think what people discredit about Nicktoons is that it doesn’t get premieres nearly as often as Nick, and there are frequent broadcast hiccups.

      • kd13245

        I’m talking about the MAIN Nick channel. Last time I checked, about a couple months ago, AT LEAST 8 Spongebobs were scheduled EACH DAY of the week. For that matter, I should include iCarly too, about same amount of airings as Spongebob, or more depending on their episode premieres. And there was nothing special that week (i.e. no milestones or holidays), it was just their regular lineup, and this was ONLY within their 6-10 hour timeslot they get (considering that the main channel shares its time with Nick@Nite and Play Date). Though I checked the schedule again today, there seems to be a little more variety than before (more so on the weekends though), I see less iCarly, but Spongebob still airs far too much for one channel, especially considering that they have also have Nicktoons for that now. Speaking of which, you do realize that Spongebob JUST recently returned on the Nicktoons channel lineup (probably when they got rid of the oldest shows due to Teenick’s new 90s block). Before July/August this year, I don’t recall seeing Spongebob a whole lot (or even at all) on Nicktoons channel, at least within the past year or two.
        You may not see it a lot on Nicktoons, but it’s still the most overplayed show on Nick itself, see for yourself, this is Nick’s schedule as of this week:

        http://www.nickandmore.com/tv-schedule-archive/nickelodeon/2011/091211.txt

      • Jon H

        I love that someone would say Spongebob “only” takes up 30% of Nick’s airtime.

        Not that I mind, it’s the only show I watch on Nick.

    • Funkybat

      I’m much more disturbed to see that Nick is now airing reruns of “Friends” than I am by any SpongeBob overload. (Yeah, I know it’s “Nick @ Nite” but still…)

      But yeah, a little more diversity wouldn’t hurt. Reminds me of a few years ago, when CN had

  • http://www.daryl-rhystaylor.co.uk DarylT

    But it’s rubbish now. Just cancel the thing.

    • Bill

      People have been saying that since at least as far back as season 6. I’d hate to think of all the great moments we would not have seen had that happened back then.

      • Aaron

        I hate to think of all the awful legacy-tarnishing moments we HAVE seen over the past ten years.

      • RupanIII

        This. For every minor flash of its old self since s6/s7/the Scully years, there have just been cascades of dreck.

    • snip2364

      That makes me wonder FOX’s logic for doing this in the first place. …will The Simpsons still play on FOX during the time this channel is running?

      • Sk8rtoon

        Fox is playing less & less of Simpson repeats during the week. It used to have a minimum of 3 repeats a day (6, 7:30 & 11 – in LA at least), & 1-3 airings on a weekend. But coming this fall season… I think it’s on once if at all during the week? they got rid of the 11 airing for TMZ recently & I think the 6 was lost the Office repeats (although I’m still at work at that time so not sure). Now I’m seeing billboards that claim Big Bang Theory (which I’m thrilled to see repeats of) will air at 7 & 7:30. so no more repeats?!?!?

        maybe they’re “starving” the public so a digital channel will work? I know KTTV isn’t really using their .2 channel (just an SD version).

        …As it is the syndicated SD versions of the HD Simpsons are at the wrong ratio. It’s like they Seinfeld-ed them by zooming in to “make” them HD when they already were! horrible!

    • Funkybat

      Not sure if you’ve tuned in at all over the last couple of years, but in my (and many other peoples’) opinion, the show has pulled out of its terminal nose-dive. It’s not 1991-1996 or anything, but the show is entertaining and the characters are largely behaving *in* character again. Give it a try and see how you feel.

  • Tim Hodge

    Like MTV and Cartoon Network started out with specific content, it will start out dedicated to “All Simpsons, All the Time”. But with time and ratings fluctuations, they will be airing other shows as well.
    It will begin with a half hour given to Futurama. Then “Simpsons Flashback Week” where they feature Tracy Ullman reruns. The before you know it, the schedule is full of game shows and reality shows… one of them being about six 20-somethings who live in that house that was built to replicate the Simpsons house. (http://curbed.com/archives/2011/03/16/this-exists-reallife-simpsons-house-outside-vegas.php)

    • http://braveandboldbackgroundpaint.blogspot.com/ William Joseph Dunn

      ha! yeah, they might as well do a “The Real World: Springfield”.

    • The G Man

      Tracey Ullman reruns? I can’t see that happening.

    • http://yeldarb86.deviantart.com Mr. Semaj

      It’s for that very reason that this is a terrible idea. The last thing TV needs is more generic content.

  • http://www.hobsonanimation.com Kevin

    This is Great!!! Fox barely has time to any of older episodes of the Simpsons and given them their own channel is the best idea I ever heard since Boomerang.

    It would be nice if they gave Looney Tunes their own channel; providing time-slots to others like Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Historia and Freakazoid!

    Disney needs to give a channel to the old Mickey cartoons along with others like DuckTales, TaleSpin, Darkwing Duck,
    Gargoyles, Aladdin, ect…

    • Funkybat

      Great minds think alike. Also, it was kind of a weird feeling to see a post that not only “read my mind” but was posted under my given name. Had to think for a second to see if I hadn’t written it earlier and forgotten that I’d done so!

    • Keegan

      Why in God’s name would anyone want to watch “Tiny Toons” in comparison to classic “Looney Tunes”? Same goes for “Animaniacs”. You might as well throw in “The Looney Tunes Show” and the whole concept of a “Looney Tunes Network” would be completely soiled.

      • Funkybat

        Well, I suppose it’s because those of us who grew up with Tiny Toons and Animaniacs found them entertaining and now also have the “nostalgia factor.” The Looney Tunes will always be part of our cartoon menu, so to speak, but there’s room for other lesser works in there.

        I suppose that was meant as a rhetorical question, but I felt compelled to reply. I mean, if people still watch “Scooby Doo,” is it really that hard to imagine people would appreciate “Animanaics,” which was far better animated and witty?

      • Keegan

        It just doesn’t fit. Why would they cater to the 90′s kids? I’m a 90′s kid too, I just don’t let nostalgia run my life.

  • ValiantEffort

    In regards to the last line…
    Looney Tunes are online at, http://www.kidswb.com/video

  • http://mutatingraven.deviantart.com Raven M.

    I.. actually think this is a cool idea. Of course it *may* go the way of MTV/MTV2 or Cartoon Network, but it still may be an interesting thing to try. Also of interest is that they’re even considering doing this when so much of the series is already available on DVD.

  • James Ciambor

    This article may have been more relevant five to ten years ago.

    The Simpson’s has lost public interest for quite sometime because many of their narratives and newer recurring characters are insipid. Younger generations are more receptive to Mcfarlenes work because he continues to challenge viewer’s, The Simpson’s used to have that distinction but have since become more pedestrian, this is because of the constant change in show-runner’s. If anything other shows should be considered in the running for having their own network. Though again it would difficult for any program to sustain its own network Fox is taking a gamble, its especially is since the program’s prime was more than a decade ago.

    If you want to know the truth all networks go against their original concept I agree with Raven M. They lose artistic integrity and base their change on what audiences prefer. Unfortunately audiences don’t exactly have the best tastes. Airing something as inane as Johnny Test or Regular Show over timeless classics and in the process even overshadowing CN’s all-time best work from the nineties, is a testament to this.

    Boomerang which was to compensate for this is starting to move away from the Golden Age and gravitate to the Dark Ages of animation because its more “contemporary”. The appreciation for the past is miniscule that its nothing short of a miracle that something as outdated as The Simpson’s is being considered for such an honor.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      It is rather something I had to notice in the past 30 years of cable TV I’ve seen myself. No doubt things just don’t last forever.

  • Andrew Farago

    Does this mean we’ll hear the announcement of a Family Guy channel sometime next week?

  • joe

    I find it strange that Fox just won’t kill The Simpsons yet since it has three cartoons that can easily replace it (and make more money, too).

    • Ivan

      The Simpsons are more than just your regular cartoon. Fifty years from now, people will still be watching the show.. more so than American Dad or the Cleveland Show. I’m sure Fox realizes the real money to be made is in syndication.

      • Funkybat

        Despite the dozens of really poor episodes produced over the last decade, the Simpsons is still on balance one of the greatest, the most entertaining, the most brilliant television shows of all time. I agree with Ivan, it is something that has impacted and will continue to impact multiple generations. I hope that they continue to improve the writing and have a renaissance, (though I will always prefer the rougher Groening-esqe drawings of seasons 1-7, which I doubt will ever return.)

  • Mad Dog

    No. Shouldn’t channels have variety? A channel devoted to one shows stupid because they would in some point start showing shows that aren’t Simpsons related.

    Didn’t they learn from Toon Disney?

    • snip2364

      I thought a channel devoted to one show is only a punchline from Garfield comics! It should stay that way.

  • http://exclusive-cheese.deviantart.com/ Taco Wiz

    This topic was thrown around on No Homers awhile back.

    I think a Sesame Street channel is a better idea. There are over 8000 half hours of regular programming, and that’s not getting into the TV movies, TV specials, direct-to-DVD movies, direct-to-DVD specials, direct-to-video movies, direct-to-video specials, and spin-offs like Play With Me Sesame and that Sesame Street infant series thing.

    There’s enough Sesame Street material for three stations, or even more.

    • http://drunkduck.com/anecdote Marbles

      Right on! Sesame Street is a vast mine of material that has been largely unseen for decades. Sure, many individual components had long, long lives in the show’s circulation, but there’s still a ton of material that was shown twice during the year in the 1970s and 80s and hasn’t been seen anywhere since. With over 4,000 episodes, at least 3,000 of which could now be considered “vintage,” they’d never run out of material.
      Throw the other old CTW shows into the mix, like Noggin used to, and you’d have a winner.

      Until, that is, they’d inevitably phase it all out in favor of teen shows, which always seems to happen…

  • http://www.facebook.com/booksonanimation Books on Animation

    With 500 episodes, they could play a different episode every half hour for over 3 months! That’s a lot of content.

    • what_in_the_cel

      With my luck every time I turn it on it’ll be an episode I’ve seen before.

      P.S.
      I’ve seen them all.

    • http://www.disneyshorts.org Patrick Malone

      Well, no … let’s do the math. At 24 hours in a day, they were be able to show 48 half hour episodes per day. At 500 episodes, that means they’d be cycling through the complete series once every ten days. I think the constant repeats would get real old real quick.

  • what_in_the_cel

    Wait, a channel that shows great entertaining tried and true cartoons 24 hours a day?! What could go wrong with that?

  • Mike

    I’ll watch it… as long as they stick to seasons 1 through 9. Things started to go downhill after that, with only a few occasional sparks to remind us of its former brilliance.

    Clever, satirical, sweet-natured Simpsons, I’ll take.

    Cartoonish, gross sightgag heavy, celebrity-guest-appearances-for-no-apparent-reason Simpsons… uh, no thanks.

  • http://www.nickandmore.com Andrew T. Hingson

    Wow… FOX. Are you regretting selling the Family Guy, American Dad, Cleveland Show, King of the Hill and Futurama rights now? Because a network that only airs The Simpsons sounds a bit crazy while a network of animation for adult viewers might have some merit if it had all of those hit shows in the mix. But it’s not as if those shows don’t already get enough air time.

    I say sell Turner the reruns of The Simpsons for TBS and Adult Swim and if an adult targeted animation venue were to be considered, Turner could do it. But clearly FOX doesn’t want to share The Simpsons outside of syndication on local networks because if they wanted to get it on cable on a competitors network or even FX, they would have by now. I doubt they were buying their time until they had enough of The Simpsons to fill a whole network by itself but I guess the thought may have crossed their minds over the years.

    It would be really hard to see every episode of the show unless they ran blocks of it and repeated them several times a day. I guess with a show like The Simpsons you can enjoy any random episode any time you tune in but people obsessed with catching every episode are going to fill up their DVR’s in a hurry and end up watching for days on end. To which I say… just buy the DVDs. They’re not expensive.

    • J. Zaroski

      Andrew T. Hingson said: “… just buy the DVDs. They’re not expensive.”
      -

      Especially considering the price of cable/satellite.

  • J. Zaroski

    So, they’re considering taking a step back from on-demand viewing? Where you can choose the show, just not the episode?

    I think I’ve experienced this kind of thing in an airplane. And rarely do I come home wishing my television was more like my in-flight entertainment. Mostly, I just wish my tv was more like the internet.

  • Anthony D.

    A Simpsons Channel sounds funny yet a dream come true at the same time! :D

    I like the idea of a channel with FOX animated shows (The Simpsons, Family Guy, Futurama, American Dad, King Of The Hill, and The Cleveland Show. Maybe add Archer).

  • Anthony D.

    Also forgot, Bob’s Burgers too!

  • Jerry P.

    To the people noting a reduction of weekday reruns: Keep in mind that this is syndication. This wouldn’t be Fox’s decision; it’s the local station. Fox affiliates get dibs, but if an affiliate in a given market declines, the show will then be shopped around to stations with other network affiliations. So the only way it’ll disappear completely is if it’s no longer syndicated.

  • http://youtube.com/ckat13 ckat13

    Didn’t they joke about this very idea on one of the (hundreds) of episode commentaries? Like that they could make a whole netwrok of spin-off shows? I’d watch it, especially if it had ALL the eps in order and then new spin-off shows possibly, and special content like documentaries. That would be cool.

  • Toonio

    Keep feeding the news media troll and forget about complaining later

  • Ivan

    I can see this happening… but I don’t know if it will last. In Asia, we used to have a channel called “The Kermit Channel”, devoted solely to Henson/Muppet stuff. It lasted about 2-3 years.

    • Ronnie Lane

      …America needs this, incredibly badly.

  • tonma

    I’ve been watching all day simpsons channels for a long time at justinTV, its fun but even at 500 episodes it gets repetititve unsuspectedly fast.

  • Arthur F.

    I agree with the others who mention commentary tracks as option, that would be great.
    But why can’t the animation model be more similar to AMC, where movies are curated in groups and themes for a week, with some background discussions and so on.
    IT’s really not the problem of quantity and delivery is it? Imagine if you were waiting for one particular episode arc and missed it because life occurs. Then what, you have to wait for the whole series to run through and return to it? The work of animation needs to match to an audience, that’s what Adult Swim showed. It was starting out as a good idea to curate a kind of evening of Fox productions (King of the Hill, FG, later AmDad) and that merged into the “adult” part (in the prime days, from Space Ghost to Birdman to Aqua T. etc, even adding Pee Wee’s Playhouse in… before the stupid manga-kitsch demographics took over)

  • Marc Baker

    I guess that explains why ‘The Simpsons’ reruns still air on local stations, and not on A cable channel yet. Of course, my greatest fear from this is that Fox will put out an ‘American Idol’ channel.

  • DBishop

    I wonder why they never tried it on one of the cable channels that run repeats first (FX or Adult Swim for instance.

  • http://downindeep13.blogspot.com JerRocks2day

    Sounds like a great idea to honor the Simpsons. :)

    Let’s hope they keep airing the Simpsons 24 hours a day/7 days a week for the rest of it’s airtime and not end up like MTV, which neglected it’s 30th anniversary.

  • Jumpman

    I would rather see Fox try making their own animation network and offer some competition against Cartoon Network. However, I would actually watch a channel dedicated to The Simpsons… at least the early seasons of The Simpsons, anyway.

  • mike schlesinger

    It already exists. I was in Australia a couple of years ago, and one of the many Fox cable channels was indeed an all-Simpsons channel, although once in a while they did indeed throw in a KING OF THE HILL or FUTURAMA. Moreover, they were commercial-free, so it was actually burning through almost THREE episodes an hour.

  • Cricket

    Hate to be a debbie downer but as other’s have stated it is destined to go the route of every other niche channel. Sy-Fy plays wrestling, CN plays live-action shows, MTV plays stupid shit, History channel, travel channel ( which is practically composed of 3 shows) you get my point.

  • http://antitesisdemilonga.blogspot.com Delfos

    We kinda already have that in Argentina.

    It’s not as good as it sounds, trust me.

  • http://soccerorassociationfootball.blogspot.com Bob

    Maybe Viacom should consider launching a Terrytoons network, or maybe Sony should consider launching a Columbia Cartoons network (including the UPA theatrical cartoons).

    Maybe Comcast (NBC-Universal) should consider setting up a Walter Lantz network.

    All would be good ideas.

  • Graham

    That’s a great idea! It could be like a channel entirely devoted to music videos!

    Or video games…
    Or science fiction…
    Or animation…

  • Luis

    I think it’s a good idea that The Simpsons will have their own network. I miss watching The Simpsons alot becuause I don’t have time to watch it because I go for a walk but The Simpsons should of be on the air on FX right now this fall I miss watching the early episodes and I think it’s time for The Simpsons to air on cable either FX or TBS and Adult Swim. I think Fox Animation Network should name Fox Comedy and I would like the watch The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, The Cleveland Show, Bob’s Burgers and the new Allen Gregory and other shows but I hope Fox Comedy will be on a regular cable network and I like that idea and I can’t wait The Simpsons will be on cable to watch the whole seasons from the begining to todays episodes.

  • Jason

    I could see an all-Simpsons digital-channel being offered to Fox/MyNetwork affiliates around the country, but I can’t see it launching on regular cable unless it bumps something else off of the air.

    Fox doesn’t have a lot of luck with branded networks. Fox Family started out strong, then branched out, and wound up being sold to Disney. Fox Reality started out strong, then wound up being yanked for a National Geographic network. The only successful one is FX, and I think that was spun off into its own company. Fox News/Fox Business are successful because everyone wants news and business information.

    Back on the subject, if there IS going to be a Simpsons Network, make it fun. Have actual ‘Channel 6 News’ installments in the evenings, hosted by someone who looks like Kent Brockman. Show some actual “Itchy & Scratchy” shorts. Add something NEW to the network, rather than pressing “Play All” on a DVD and letting it run on repeat.

  • Lor G

    I would like to see bart lisa and maggy grown up and not stuck in the same grade this is later in the seasons i mean come on