by Graham Pierrepoint
Disney’s purchase of Fox from Rupert Murdoch may have seemed, to the unmitigated, to be a sensible business decision and one that could even be considered run-of-the-mill. However, those in the know will tell you that it was a move that could effectively change the entertainment landscape – it’s a landmark deal that is very good news indeed for a number of existing staff and brands, and it further enables Disney to extend its entertainment outreach. Having acquired Marvel and Star Wars in recent years, this means that Fox properties, too, could come under Disney’s wings – and this of course means we can turn our attention to one of Fox’s most popular and enduring brands – The Simpsons.
Homer and co have been a part of the TV and pop culture landscape for thirty years – and despite having been renewed for an incredible thirtieth season set to air in 2020, it is a show which many, including long-term fans, feel has continued to dwindle in quality. The Simpsons hit their heyday in the early to mid 1990s with creative characters, biting satire and genuinely funny writing – as the writing staff has evolved over the years, many fans feel that the show has changed to become something else entirely. Disney’s acquisition only puts the future of the show in further doubt – will the House of Mouse let the series bow out in 2020, or will they renew it?
Watch: 'The Simpsons' Predicted That Disney Would Buy Out Fox 20 Years Ago ▶
It’s a show which has suffered in the ratings and which seems to have been subject to pay disputes on a number of occasions – with one such occasion almost resulting in Fox pulling the plug on the main cast – and with veteran cast member Harry Shearer (perhaps best known as Mr Burns and Principal Skinner among others) having supposedly left the show – therefore, its future may not be as cemented as many could quite easily presume. However, The Simpsons as a brand continues to be enormous – assuring its profitability – and some are suggesting that Disney could effectively make bank on acquiring Springfield and its denizens by simply expanding the brand outside of the series. We could be talking spin-offs, streaming content and more besides – there’s a world of possibility here.
Could Disney purchasing Fox spell the end for The Simpsons, Family Guy and the like? Let’s wait and see – but 2018 could be a very interesting one as far as the fans are concerned.