The longest running animated series of all time has just landed one of the biggest syndication deals ever. FX’s new comedy-centric spinoff network FXX has acquired the syndication rights for all 24 seasons of The Simpsons in a lucrative nine-figure deal, with all 530 episodes expected to be in heavy rotation starting next August. Maybe more interesting, though, is the fact that the deal also calls for The Simpsons to be available to stream on demand for the first time ever. FXX subscribers will be able to watch The Simpsons anytime courtesy of the soon-to-launch FXNOW mobile app, and Vulture points out that the size of this deal means The Simpsons won’t be coming to Netflix or Hulu anytime soon.
There was much competition to land the syndication rights to The Simpsons, since until now repeats of the show have only run on Fox. Launched this summer, FXX is FX’s version of a younger-skewing network and is now home to It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and The League. Adding The Simpsons to its roster certainly bodes well for the future success of the cable channel. Read the full press release after the jump.
LOS ANGELES, November 15, 2013 – After a vigorous bidding war which resulted in what is believed to be the biggest off-network deal ever, FXX has secured the exclusive cable, VOD and non-linear rights to The Simpsons, the longest-running, most successful comedy series in television history, it was announced today by John Landgraf, CEO, FX Networks and FX Productions and Chuck Saftler, President, Program Strategy, and COO, FX Networks.
The longest-running scripted show in television history, The Simpsons has remained one of the most groundbreaking and innovative entertainment franchises, recognizable throughout the world. Currently in production on its record-annihilating 25th season, The Simpsons has won 28 Emmy Awards, and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2012 for the theatrical short “The Longest Daycare.” It has been the subject of a hit feature film, created a revolutionary virtual coaster ride at Universal Studios, received a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame and has been honored with five U.S. postal stamps personally designed by creator Matt Groening. Named the “Best Show of the 20thCentury” by Time magazine, The Simpsons was also named “Greatest American Sitcom” by Entertainment Weekly in 2013.
Beginning in August 2014, through its landmark deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television, FXX will become the cable network home for all seasons of The Simpsons, excluding seasons airing in their first run on FOX. FXNOW, the soon-to-be-launched mobile viewing app of FX Networks for its authenticated subscribers, will be the exclusive non-linear home for all seasons of The Simpsons, excluding seasons airing in their first run on FOX. FXX and FXNOW will get subsequent seasons of The Simpsons as new seasons begin their first run on FOX. For example, beginning in August 2014 FXX will have access to 24 seasons (530 episodes) of the series. Beginning in September of 2014, FXX will have access to the 25th season of The Simpsons, when season 26 debuts on FOX.
“The Simpsons is indisputably one of the greatest shows in television history,” said Landgraf. “We are honored to have it associated with FX Networks and FXX. This was a very long, hard and complicated negotiation and I credit the relentlessness and diligence of Chuck Saftler for getting it done. I also want to thank Gary Newman and Dana Walden at TCFTV, and Greg Meidel and Steve MacDonald at Twentieth Television. Most important of all, I want to thank Jim Brooks, Matt Groening and Al Jean and everyone at Gracie Films for this new partnership.”
Saftler said, “Woo Hoo! The Simpsons is the crown jewel of television and the longest-running, most successful comedy series in television history, which is testament to the amazing talents of Jim Brooks, Matt Groening, Al Jean, and the Gracie Films team. This is a historic deal for FXX and FX Networks and I don’t believe there will ever be another one like it.” Saftler negotiated the deal for FXX and FX Networks along with Chris Antola, Senior Vice President of Strategic Programming, FX Networks.
“The Simpsons long ago crossed over from ‘brilliant award-winning comedy series’ to ‘full-fledged cultural phenomenon,’ and this landmark deal is a testament to its enduring power and relevance,” remarked 20th Century Fox TV Chairmen and CEO’s Gary Newman and Dana Walden. “Matt, Jim and Al continue to deliver one of the most ingenious creations of the modern era, and we could not be more excited that the ever growing library of more than 500 episodes will now be available to FXX viewers. The passion for this property from John, Chuck and everyone at FX was overwhelming, and we are grateful to Greg, Steve and Lori Bernstein in constructing this complicated and groundbreaking deal.”
The Simpsons is a Gracie Films Production in association with 20th Century Fox Television. James L. Brooks, Matt Groening and Al Jean are the executive producers. Film Roman, a Starz Media Company, is the animation house.