Al Jean

Alfred Ernest Jean III (born January 9, 1961) is an American screenwriter and producer.[1] Jean is well known for his work on The Simpsons. He was born and raised near Detroit, Michigan, and graduated from Harvard University in 1981. Jean began his writing career in the 1980s with fellow Harvard alum Mike Reiss. Together, they worked as writers and producers on television shows such as The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, ALF and It's Garry Shandling's Show.

Jean was offered a job as a writer on the animated sitcom The Simpsons in 1989, alongside Reiss, and together they became the first members of the original writing staff of the show. They served as showrunners during the show's third (1991) and fourth (1992) seasons, though they left The Simpsons after season four to create The Critic, an animated show about film critic Jay Sherman. It was first broadcast on ABC in January 1994 (then aired its second season on Fox in March 1995) and was well received by critics, but did not catch on with viewers and only lasted for two seasons.

In 1994, Jean and Reiss signed a three-year deal with The Walt Disney Company to produce other television shows for ABC, and the duo created and executive-produced Teen Angel, which was canceled in its first season. Jean returned full-time to The Simpsons during the tenth season (1998). He became showrunner again with the start of the thirteenth season in 2001, without Reiss, and has held that position since. Jean was also one of the writers and producers who worked on The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film based on the series, released in 2007.

Al Jean
A man with glasses and a black shirt sits in front of a microphone.
Al Jean at the 2015 Comic Con in San Diego
Born
Alfred Ernest Jean III

January 9, 1961 (age 58)
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma materHarvard University
OccupationScreenwriter, producer
Spouse(s)
Stephanie Gillis (m. 2002)
Children2

Personal life and education

Al Jean was born Alfred Ernest Jean III on January 9, 1961.[3] He was born and raised in Farmington Hills, Michigan,[3][4] graduated from Farmington Hills Harrison High School, and is of Irish ancestry.[5] Jean arrived at Harvard University when he was sixteen years old and graduated in 1981[6] with a bachelor's degree in mathematics.[7] Daryl Libow, one of Jean's freshman roommates, said he was a "math whiz" when he arrived at Harvard but "soon blossomed and found his comedic feet."[8] In Holworthy Hall at Harvard, Jean met fellow freshman Mike Reiss; they befriended one another and collaborated their writing efforts for the humor publication Harvard Lampoon. Jeff Martin, another writer for the Lampoon, said "they definitely loomed large around the magazine. They were very funny guys and unusually polished comedy writers for that age. We were never surprised that they went on to success."[8] Jean has also stated that the duo spent most of their time at the Lampoon, adding that "it was practically my second dorm room."[8] He eventually became vice-president of the publication.[2]

Jean currently lives in Los Angeles, California, with his wife,[4] television writer Stephanie Gillis.[9] The two were wed in Enniskerry, Ireland, in 2002.[10] Jean also has two daughters.[11][12][13]

Career

Early career and The Simpsons

The humor magazine National Lampoon hired Jean and Reiss after they graduated in 1981.[8] During the 1980s, the duo began collaborating on various television material.[11][14] During this period they worked as writers and producers on television shows such as The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, ALF, Sledge Hammer! and It's Garry Shandling's Show.[2][15] In 1989, Jean was offered a job as a writer on the animated sitcom The Simpsons,[16] a show created by Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, and Sam Simon that continues to air today.[5] Many of Jean's friends were not interested in working on The Simpsons because it was a cartoon and they did not think it would last long.[15] Jean, however, was a fan of the work of Groening, Brooks, and Simon, and therefore took the job together with Reiss.[5][15]

The duo became the first members of the original writing staff of The Simpsons and worked on the thirteen episodes of the show's first season (1989).[15] While watching the first episode of the show, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", premiering on television in December 1989, Jean opined to himself that the series was the greatest project he had been involved with and desired to continue working on it for the rest of his professional career.[5] What he enjoyed most about The Simpsons at the time was something he recognized from Brooks' previous work: although the show was largely based on humor, it had depth and warmth.[5]

Mikereiss
Mike Reiss and Jean worked as show runners of The Simpsons together.

Although Jean has been credited as the sole writer of several episodes of the show, he considers the process to be mainly collaborative: "the principal writer [of an episode] has, at most, written 40% of the script. It's a real team effort."[15] The person who is credited as the writer in the episode's opening credits is the person that came up with the idea for the episode and wrote the first draft, even if he or she only contributed to a small part of the final script.[15] Jean has stated that Lisa Simpson is one of his favorite characters to write for.[17] She is the character he relates to the most because of their similar childhoods and the fact that he has a daughter.[18]

Jean became show runner of The Simpsons at the start of the third season (1991) together with Reiss.[18] A show runner has the ultimate responsibility of all the processes that an episode goes through before completion, including the writing, the animation, the voice acting, and the music.[15] When Jean began his tenure as show runner, the only thing he thought to himself every day was "Don't blow it and screw up this thing everyone loves."[18] The first episode Jean and Reiss ran was "Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington" (aired September 19, 1991), and they felt a lot of pressure on them to make it good. They were so pressured that they did six to seven rewrites of the script in order to improve its humor. Jean said he "kept thinking 'It's not good enough. It's not good enough.'"[19] Reiss added that "we were definitely scared. We had never run anything before, and they dumped us on this."[20]

Jean and Reiss served as show runners until the end of the fourth season in 1993.[19] Since the show had already established itself in the first two seasons, they were able to give it more depth during their tenure. Jean believes this is one of the reasons that many fans and critics regard season three and four as the best seasons of The Simpsons.[18] Bill Oakley, another writer on The Simpsons, has commented that "Mike and Al are responsible for the best thing that ever appeared on television, which was the third season of The Simpsons."[8] Comedy writer Jay Kogen has said that "those years with Al Jean and Mike Reiss running it were pretty darn good. And then the ones after that maybe not so much. Some people ran it better than others."[21]

The Critic and Disney

Mirkinjean
Jean and former Simpsons executive producer David Mirkin at the 2007 Comic Con.

Jean and Reiss left The Simpsons after its fourth season in order to create The Critic, an animated show about film critic Jay Sherman (voiced by Jon Lovitz); the show was executive produced by Brooks.[22][23] It was first broadcast on ABC in January 1994 and was well received by critics,[24][25] but did not catch on with viewers and was put on hiatus after six weeks. It returned in June 1994 and completed airing its initial production run.[26] The Critic was moved to the Fox network for its second season.[27] Since The Simpsons also aired on that network, Brooks was able to create a crossover between it and The Critic.[28]

This crossover occurred through the Simpsons episode "A Star Is Burns" (1995). Groening was not fond of the crossover, publicly citing it as a thirty-minute advertisement for The Critic.[28] Brooks said, "for years, Al and Mike were two guys who worked their hearts out on this show, staying up until 4 in the morning to get it right. The point is, Matt's name has been on Mike's and Al's scripts and he has taken plenty of credit for a lot of their great work. In fact, he is the direct beneficiary of their work. The Critic is their shot and he should be giving them his support." Reiss stated that he was a "little upset" by Groening's actions and that "this taints everything at the last minute. [...] This episode doesn't say 'Watch The Critic' all over it."[28] Jean added "What bothers me about all of this, is that now people may get the impression that this Simpsons episode is less than good. It stands on its own even if The Critic never existed."[28] On Fox, The Critic was again short-lived, broadcasting ten episodes before its cancellation. A total of only 23 episodes were produced, and it returned briefly in 2000 with a series of ten Internet broadcast webisodes. The series has since developed a cult following thanks to reruns on Comedy Central and its complete series release on DVD.[29]

In 1994, Jean and Reiss signed a three-year deal with The Walt Disney Company to produce other television shows for ABC. The duo created and executive produced Teen Angel, which was canceled in its first season. Reiss said "It was so compromised and overworked. I had 11 executives full-time telling me how to do my job."[30] The pair periodically returned to work on The Simpsons— for example, while under contract at Disney they were allowed to write and produce four episodes of the show, including season eight's "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious" (1997).[31]

Further work on The Simpsons

Jean returned full-time to The Simpsons during the tenth season (1998).[5] He once again became show runner with the start of the thirteenth season in 2001,[19] this time without Reiss.[15] Jean called it "a great job with a lot of responsibility," and cited "the fact that people love it so much" as "great."[18] He adds, however, that "the hardest thing at this point is just thinking of fresh ideas. People are so on top of things that we've done before, so the challenge now is to think of an idea that's good, but hasn't been seen."[15] Jean's return was initially welcomed, with MSNBC's Jon Bonné stating: "Jean, who took the show's helm from executive producer Mike Scully in 2001, has guided the show away from its gag-heavy, Homer-centric incarnation...these are certainly brighter days for the show's long-time fans."[33] However, some critics have argued that the quality of the show has declined in recent years during Jean's tenure. Jean has responded to this criticism by saying: "Well, it's possible that we've declined. But honestly, I've been here the whole time and I do remember in season two people saying, 'It's gone downhill.' If we'd listened to that then we would have stopped after episode 13. I'm glad we didn't."[34]

Jean was one of the writers and producers who worked on The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film that was released in 2007.[17] The show's voice cast was signed on to do the film in 2001,[35] and work then began on the script.[36] The producers of The Simpsons were initially worried that creating a film would have a negative effect on the show, as they did not have enough crew to focus their attention on both projects. As the show progressed, additional writers and animators were hired so that both the show and the film could be produced at the same time.[37] Groening and Brooks were therefore able to invite Jean (who continued to work as show runner on the television show) to produce the film with them.[38]

Jean frequently appears on the Simpsons DVD audio commentaries for episodes which he has collaborated on. He told IGN that he enjoys doing them because he has not seen some of the episodes in ten to fifteen years, and "it's kind of like a reunion to see some of the people that I worked with before, so it's a really pleasant experience."[17]

Awards

Jean has received nine Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award for his work on The Simpsons.[2][15][39] In 1997, he and Reiss won an Annie Award in the "Best Producing in a TV Production" category for the Simpsons episode "The Springfield Files".[40] In 1991 they shared the Writing A Comedy Series CableAce Award for the It's Garry Shandling's Show Episode "My Mother The Wife". In 2006, the duo was given the Animation Writers Caucus Animation Award which is given by the Writers Guild of America to writers that "advanced the literature of animation in film and/or television through the years and who has made outstanding contributions to the profession of the animation writer."[41]

References

  1. ^ "The Simpsons – Al Jean". Channel 4. 2005-04-01. Archived from the original on 18 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-20.
  2. ^ a b c d Cartwright, Nancy (2007-10-12). "Nancy Cartwright Chats with Simpsons Showrunner Al Jean". Animation World Network. Retrieved 2010-02-21.
  3. ^ a b Al Jean. Archive of American Television (Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation). March 13, 2013. Event occurs at 00:28. Retrieved on 2014-06-02.
  4. ^ a b "They're the Simpsons, man, but who the hell is Al Jean?". Canberra Times. 2005-07-30.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "'Fresh Air' Reflects: 'Simpsons' Writer Al Jean (audio interview)". Fresh Air. National Public Radio. 2007-07-26. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
  6. ^ Schulins, Nancy (1992-09-23). "The Joke's on Harvard". The Plain Dealer. Associated Press. pp. 12E.
  7. ^ Halpern, Paul (2007). What's Science Ever Done For Us? What the Simpsons Can Teach Us About Robots, Life, and the Universe. John Wiley and Sons. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-470-11460-5. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  8. ^ a b c d e Teller, Sam (2006-06-05). "Al Jean & Mike Reiss". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 2010-02-21.
  9. ^ Ortved, John (2009). The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History. Greystone Books. p. 228. ISBN 978-1-55365-503-9.
  10. ^ "Simpsons' producer Al Jean got married". Daily Mail. 2009-03-21.
  11. ^ a b Brown, Elisabeth A. (1992-01-09). "Harvard link binds 'Simpsons' writers". The Tampa Tribune. p. 4.
  12. ^ "'The Simpsons' Executive Producer Al Jean Looks Back at 20 Years in Springfield". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 2010-01-08.
  13. ^ Fenech, Stephen (2010-01-14). "Inside Story – They're still making plenty of D'oh!". The Advertiser. p. D03.
  14. ^ "He gets the credit for the birth of Bart". The Milwaukee Journal. 1992-12-13. p. 3.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Suarez, Greg (2001-02-10). "Greg Suarez talks Simpsons with Al Jean". The Digital Bits. Archived from the original on 2008-05-11. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
  16. ^ Chaney, Jen (2003-08-11). "A Q&A With Al Jean". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
  17. ^ a b c Goldman, Eric (2006-09-01). "IGN Interview: The Simpsons's Al Jean". IGN. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
  18. ^ a b c d e Epstein, Daniel Robert. "Al Jean interview". UGO. Archived from the original on 2003-08-28. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
  19. ^ a b c Jean, Al (2003). The Simpsons season 3 DVD commentary for the episode "Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  20. ^ Reiss, Mike (2003). The Simpsons season 3 DVD commentary for the episode "Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  21. ^ Ortved, John (2009). The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History. Greystone Books. p. 207. ISBN 978-1-55365-503-9.
  22. ^ Jean, Al (2004). The Simpsons season 5 DVD commentary for the episode "Cape Feare" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  23. ^ Svetkey, Benjamin (1994-02-11). "Gotta Lovitz". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
  24. ^ Boedecker, Hal (1994-01-26). "The Critic Is Worthy Follow-up to The Simpsons Animated Series Gets Two Thumbs-up". The Gazette.
  25. ^ Carter, Bill (1994-01-13). "Reporter's Notebook; Top Hollywood Agency Reaches for the Stars Of Television News". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
  26. ^ "ABC-TV returns The Critic tonight". Toronto Star. 1994-06-01.
  27. ^ Shister, Gail (1994-05-02). "The Critic finds new life, love on Fox". Toronto Star.
  28. ^ a b c d Brennan, Judy (1995-03-03). "Matt Groening's Reaction to The Critic's First Appearance on The Simpsons". Los Angeles Times. The Times Mirror Company.
  29. ^ Uhlich, Keith (2004-02-03). "The Critic: The Complete Series". Slant Magazine. Archived from the original on 2009-01-14. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
  30. ^ Dicker, Ron (2009-05-31). "His Own Divine Comedy - 'Simpsons' Co-writer Moves Into Writing For Real Humans on the Big Screen Bristol Native Mike Reiss". The Courant. p. G3.
  31. ^ Jean, Al (2006). The Simpsons season 8 DVD commentary for the episode "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  32. ^ Ortved, John (2009). The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History. Greystone Books. p. 226. ISBN 978-1-55365-503-9.
  33. ^ Bonné, Jon (2003-11-07). "The Simpsons,' back from the pit". MSNBC. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
  34. ^ Wilson, Benji (2010-01-09). "The writer". Radio Times. p. 16.
  35. ^ Richards, Olly (2007-05-24). "Homer's Odyssey". Empire. pp. 72–78.
  36. ^ Bowles, Scott (2006-04-02). "Mmmm, popcorn: A 'Simpsons' film in '07". USA Today. Retrieved 2006-04-02.
  37. ^ "About the DVD". The Simpsons Movie.com. 20th Century Fox. Archived from the original on 28 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-29. On the main page, click on "About the DVD" then on "Production Notes".
  38. ^ Snierson, Dan (2007-07-20). "Homer's Odyssey". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 22 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-20.
  39. ^ "Primetime Emmy Awards Advanced Search". Emmys.org. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
  40. ^ "Legacy: 25th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (1997)". Annie Awards. Archived from the original on 2008-12-18. Retrieved 2007-10-16.
  41. ^ "Animation Writers Caucus Animation Award". Writers Guild of America. Archived from the original on 5 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-06.

External links

HOMR

"HOMR" (styled as "HOMЯ") is the ninth episode of the twelfth season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. The 257th episode overall, it originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 7, 2001. In the episode, while working as a human guinea pig (to pay off the family's lost savings after making a bad investment), Homer discovers the root cause of his subnormal intelligence: a crayon that was lodged in his brain ever since he was six years old. He decides to have it removed to increase his IQ, but soon learns that being intelligent is not always the same as being happy.

The episode was written by Al Jean and directed by Mike B. Anderson. Its plot takes inspiration from Flowers for Algernon and its film adaptation Charly. "HOMR" was viewed in 10.2 million households, and it received positive reviews from television critics. In 2001, the episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program, while Al Jean received a nomination in the category "Outstanding Individual Achievement for Writing in an Animated Television Production".

Homer at the Bat

"Homer at the Bat" is the seventeenth episode of The Simpsons' third season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 20, 1992. The episode follows the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team, led by Homer, having a winning season and making the championship game. Mr. Burns makes a large bet that the team will win and brings in nine ringers from the "big leagues" to ensure his success. It was written by John Swartzwelder, who is a big baseball fan, and directed by Jim Reardon.

Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Ken Griffey, Jr., Steve Sax, Ozzie Smith, José Canseco, Don Mattingly, Darryl Strawberry and Mike Scioscia all guest starred as themselves, playing the ringers hired by Mr. Burns. Terry Cashman sang a song over the end credits. The guest stars were recorded over several months, with differing degrees of cooperation. The episode is often named among the show's best, and was the first to beat The Cosby Show in the ratings on its original airing. In 2014, showrunner Al Jean selected it as one of five essential episodes in the show's history.

Lisa's Sax

"Lisa's Sax" is the third episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 19, 1997, to overwhelmingly positive reviews. In the series' sixth flashback episode, it is explained how Lisa got her saxophone. The episode was executive produced by Al Jean and Mike Reiss and was the first episode Jean wrote by himself as all of his previous writing credits had been shared with Reiss. It was directed by Dominic Polcino and guest starred Fyvush Finkel, who appeared as himself portraying Krusty in a film.

List of The Simpsons episodes (seasons 1–20)

The Simpsons is an American animated television sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. It is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its eponymous family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield, and lampoons American culture, society, and television, as well as many aspects of the human condition. The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a pitch for a series of animated shorts with producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of the Fox series The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime-time show that was an early hit for Fox.Since its debut on December 17, 1989, The Simpsons has broadcast 662 episodes. The show holds several American television longevity records. It is the longest-running prime-time animated series and longest-running sitcom in the United States. On February 19, 2012, The Simpsons reached its 500th episode in the twenty-third season. With its twenty-first season (2009–10), the series surpassed Gunsmoke in seasons to claim the spot as the longest-running American prime-time scripted television series, and later also surpassed Gunsmoke in episode count with the episode "Forgive and Regret" on April 29, 2018.Episodes of The Simpsons have won dozens of awards, including 31 Emmy Awards (with ten for Outstanding Animated Program), 30 Annie Awards, and a Peabody Award. The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 26 and 27, 2007 and grossed US$526.2 million worldwide. The first eighteen seasons are available on DVD in regions 1, 2, and 4, with the twentieth season released on both DVD and Blu-ray in 2010 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series. On April 8, 2015, show runner Al Jean announced that there would be no more DVD or Blu-ray releases, shifting focus to digital distribution, although this was later reversed on July 22, 2017. Another two years later, on July 20, 2019, it was announced that Season 19 will be released on December 3, 2019 on DVD.On November 4, 2016, The Simpsons was renewed for seasons 29 and 30. It reached its 600th episode on October 16, 2016, in its twenty-eighth season. The thirtieth season ended on May 12, 2019. On February 6, 2019, The Simpsons was renewed for seasons 31 and 32, in which the latter will contain the 700th episode.Season 31 will premiere on September 29, 2019.

== Series overview ==

=== Ratings ===

With its first season, The Simpsons became the Fox network's first series to rank among the top thirty highest rated shows of a television season. Due to this success, Fox decided to switch The Simpsons' timeslot in hopes that it would result in higher ratings for the shows that would air after it. The series moved from 8:00 p.m. on Sunday nights to the same time on Thursdays, where it competed with The Cosby Show, the number one show at the time.Many of the producers were against the move, as The Simpsons had been in the top ten while airing on Sunday, and they felt the move would destroy its ratings. Ratings wise, new episodes of The Cosby Show beat The Simpsons every time during the second season and The Simpsons eventually fell out of the top ten. At the end of the season Cosby averaged as the fifth highest rated show on television, while The Simpsons was thirty-eighth.The show continued in its Thursday timeslot until the sixth season, when, in 1994, it reverted to its original slot on Sunday. It has remained there ever since.

==== Key ====

The ratings for The Simpsons are split into two tables:

Season 1–11 are ranked by households (in millions) watching the series.

Season 12–30 are ranked by total viewers (in millions) watching the series.

==== Notes ====

Until the 1996/97 television season, ratings were calculated over 30 weeks from September to mid April. Episodes that aired after mid April were not part of the overall average and ranking.

Season one had approximately 13.4 million viewing households. Season two dropped 9%, resulting in an average of approximately 12.2 million viewing households.

Season three had an average rating of 13.0 points. For the 1991/92 season, each point represented 921,000 viewing households, resulting in a total average of approximately 12.0 million viewing households.

Season four had approximately 12.1 million viewing households. Season five dropped 13%, resulting in an average of approximately 10.5 million viewing households.

Mike Reiss

Michael L. Reiss (born September 15, 1959) is an American television comedy writer and author. He served as a show-runner, writer and producer for the animated series The Simpsons and co-created the animated series The Critic. He created and wrote the webtoon Queer Duck and has also worked on screenplays including: Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, The Simpsons Movie and My Life in Ruins.

Simpson Tide

"Simpson Tide" is the nineteenth episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 29, 1998. After being fired from the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, Homer decides to join the United States Navy Reserve. The episode was the second and last to be written by Joshua Sternin and Jeffrey Ventimilia and was the final episode directed by Milton Gray.

It guest starred Rod Steiger as Captain Tenille and Bob Denver as himself, with one-time The Simpsons writer Michael Carrington making an appearance as the Drill Sergeant. This was the last episode Al Jean and Mike Reiss executive produced together, although Jean became show runner again in season 13.

Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious

"Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious", also known as "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpialad'ohcious" is the thirteenth episode of The Simpsons' eighth season that originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 7, 1997. When Marge becomes stressed, the Simpsons hire a nanny, a Mary Poppins parody named Shary Bobbins (voiced by Maggie Roswell). The episode was directed by Chuck Sheetz and written and executive produced by Al Jean and Mike Reiss. It was the last episode for which Reiss received a writing credit. In 2014, Jean selected it as one of five essential episodes in the show's history.

Stark Raving Dad

"Stark Raving Dad" is the first episode of the third season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 19, 1991. In the episode, Homer Simpson is mistaken for an anarchist and sent to a mental institution, where he shares a room with a man who claims to be pop star Michael Jackson. Meanwhile, Bart promises his sister Lisa that he will get her the best birthday present ever.

The episode was written by Al Jean and Mike Reiss, and directed by Rich Moore. Jackson guest-starred as Leon Kompowsky, but went uncredited for contractual reasons; his role was not confirmed until later. Jackson was a fan of the show and called creator Matt Groening offering to do a guest spot. Jackson pitched several story ideas and wrote the song "Happy Birthday Lisa" for the episode. The character's singing voice was performed by a soundalike, Kipp Lennon, due to contractual obligations Jackson had with his record company. The episode references Jackson's career, with Kompowsky singing portions of the songs "Billie Jean" and "Ben".

"Stark Raving Dad" received generally positive reviews, particularly for its writing and Jackson's performance. A sequel in which Kompowsky would be voiced by Prince was canceled after Prince refused the script. A 1992 rerun featured an alternate opening in response to a speech by President George H. W. Bush, in which he said Americans needed to be "a lot more like the Waltons and a lot less like the Simpsons". In March 2019, following renewed allegations against Jackson of sexual abuse, the episode was pulled from circulation.

Teen Angel (1997 TV series)

Teen Angel is an American fantasy sitcom that aired as part of ABC's TGIF Friday night lineup from September 26, 1997 to February 13, 1998. It stars Corbin Allred as a high school student whose recently deceased best friend, played by Mike Damus, returns to earth as his guardian angel. The series was created by Al Jean and Mike Reiss.

The Critic

The Critic is an American prime time animated series revolving around the life of New York film critic Jay Sherman, voiced by actor Jon Lovitz. It was created by writing partners Al Jean and Mike Reiss, who had previously worked as writers and showrunners (seasons 3 and 4) on The Simpsons. The Critic had 23 episodes produced, first broadcast on ABC in 1994, and finishing its original run on Fox in 1995. According to PopMatters, "the creators [said] they intended the series as their 'love letter to New York.'"Episodes featured movie parodies with notable examples including a musical version of Apocalypse Now; Howard Stern's End (Howards End); Honey, I Ate the Kids (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids/The Silence of the Lambs); The Cockroach King (The Lion King); Abe Lincoln: Pet Detective (Ace Ventura: Pet Detective); and Scent of a Jackass and Scent of a Wolfman (Scent of a Woman). The show often referenced popular movies such as Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and The Godfather, and routinely lampooned actor Marlon Brando and actor/director Orson Welles. They also spoofed Dudley Moore, usually as his character Arthur Bach from the 1981 film Arthur.

Despite the ratings improving, The Critic was cancelled after two seasons. It continued to air through reruns on Comedy Central and then on Locomotion. From February 1, 2000, to 2001, ten webisodes were later produced using Adobe Shockwave, and were broadcast on AtomFilms.com and Shockwave.com.

In the late 2000s, reruns of the show aired again on ReelzChannel in the US and on Teletoon's programming block Teletoon at Night in Canada. As of 2016, the first season can be viewed for free on Crackle.

The Longest Daycare

Maggie Simpson in "The Longest Daycare" or simply The Longest Daycare, is a 2012 American traditionally animated 3D comedy short film based on the animated television series The Simpsons. In the film, Maggie Simpson is enrolled at a new daycare facility where she squares off with the foul-tempered Baby Gerald when she befriends a caterpillar. The short originated with Simpsons producer James L. Brooks, who enlisted long-time veteran of the series David Silverman to direct the film. The picture was written by producers Brooks, Al Jean, David Mirkin, writers Michael Price and Joel H. Cohen, as well as show creator Matt Groening.

The film premiered on July 13, 2012, where it was attached to screenings of the 20th Century Fox release Ice Age: Continental Drift. The film is the second Simpsons theatrical release. The short was re-released on February 15, 2013 and played before the film Life of Pi in selected theaters in USA. Reception has been positive, praising the storytelling and animation. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2013, losing to Paperman.

The Simpsons

The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of working-class life, epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture and society, television, and the human condition.

The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a solicitation for a series of animated shorts with producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after his own family members, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After three seasons, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime time show and became Fox's first series to land in the Top 30 ratings in a season (1989–90).

Since its debut on December 17, 1989, 662 episodes of The Simpsons have been broadcast. It is the longest-running American sitcom, and the longest-running American scripted primetime television series both in terms of seasons and number of episodes. The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 27, 2007, and grossed over $527 million. Then on October 30, 2007, a video game was released. Currently, The Simpsons finished airing its thirtieth season, which

began airing September 30, 2018. The Simpsons was renewed for a thirty-first and thirty-second season on February 6, 2019, in which the latter will contain the 700th episode. The Simpsons is a joint production by Gracie Films and 20th Century Fox Television and syndicated by 20th Television.The Simpsons received acclaim throughout its first nine or ten seasons, which are generally considered its "Golden Age". Time named it the 20th century's best television series, and Erik Adams of The A.V. Club named it "television's crowning achievement regardless of format". On January 14, 2000, the Simpson family was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It has won dozens of awards since it debuted as a series, including 34 Primetime Emmy Awards, 30 Annie Awards, and a Peabody Award. Homer's exclamatory catchphrase "D'oh!" has been adopted into the English language, while The Simpsons has influenced many other later adult-oriented animated sitcoms. However, it has also been criticized for a perceived decline in quality over the years.

The Simpsons will return to Animation Domination on September 29, 2019.

The Simpsons (season 13)

The Simpsons' thirteenth season originally aired on the Fox network between November 6, 2001 and May 22, 2002 and consists of 22 episodes. The show runner for the thirteenth production season was Al Jean who executive-produced 17 episodes. Mike Scully executive-produced the remaining five, which were all hold-overs that were produced for the previous season. The Simpsons is an animated series about a working-class family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional city of Springfield, and lampoons American culture, society, television and many aspects of the human condition.

The season won an Annie Award for Best Animated Television Production, and was nominated for several other awards, including two Primetime Emmy Awards, three Writers Guild of America Awards, and an Environmental Media Award. The Simpsons ranked 30th in the season ratings with an average viewership of 12.4 million viewers. It was the second-highest-rated show on Fox after Malcolm in the Middle. Season 13 was released on DVD in Region 1 on August 24, 2010, Region 2 on September 20, 2010, and Region 4 on December 1, 2010.

The Simpsons (season 23)

The Simpsons' twenty-third season began airing on Fox on September 25, 2011, and ended May 20, 2012. The showrunner for the season was Al Jean, with three episodes ran with Matt Selman, one of those he also wrote himself. The show's 500th episode, "At Long Last Leave", aired February 19, 2012.

The Simpsons (season 27)

The Simpsons' twenty-seventh season began airing on Fox in the United States on September 27, 2015, and ended on May 22, 2016. On October 28, 2014, executive producer Al Jean announced that Season 27 went into production, renewing the series through the 2015–16 season.The season premiere deals with Homer being diagnosed with narcolepsy, his breaking up with Marge, and falling for a pharmacist. Guest stars for this season include Blake Anderson, Kristen Bell, David Copperfield, Lena Dunham, Kelsey Grammer, Nick Kroll, Yo-Yo Ma, Edward James Olmos, Kevin Michael Richardson, and George Takei. Carl Zealer, who won a competition to be animated into The Simpsons, appeared in the episode "Halloween of Horror".

This is the last season to be produced by Film Roman and the last to credit Sam Simon as producer due to his death in 2015.

On May 14, 2015, showrunner Al Jean announced that veteran Simpsons voice actor Harry Shearer had left the show to pursue other work after his contract expired. However, on July 7, he returned to the show after signing a new deal with five other cast members.

The Simpsons (season 3)

The Simpsons' third season originally aired on the Fox network between September 19, 1991 and August 27, 1992. The showrunners for the third production season were Al Jean and Mike Reiss who executive produced 22 episodes for the season, while two other episodes were produced by James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, and Sam Simon. An additional episode, "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?", aired on August 27, 1992 after the official end of the third season and is included on the Season 3 DVD set. Season three won six Primetime Emmy Awards for "Outstanding Voice-Over Performance" and also received a nomination for "Outstanding Animated Program" for the episode "Radio Bart". The complete season was released on DVD in Region 1 on August 26, 2003, Region 2 on October 6, 2003, and in Region 4 on October 22, 2003.

The Simpsons Movie

The Simpsons Movie is a 2007 American animated adventure comedy film based on the Fox television series The Simpsons. The film was directed by David Silverman, and stars the regular television cast of Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Tress MacNeille, Pamela Hayden, Maggie Roswell and Russi Taylor (in her last feature film role before her death in 2019), as well as Albert Brooks. The film follows Homer Simpson, whose irresponsibility gets the best of him when he pollutes the lake in Springfield after the town has cleaned it up, causing the Environmental Protection Agency to imprison the town under a giant dome. After he and his family narrowly manage to escape, they ultimately abandon Homer for his selfishness, he works to redeem his folly by stopping Russ Cargill, the head of the EPA, who intends to destroy Springfield.

Although previous attempts to create a Simpsons film had been made, they failed due to the lack of a script of appropriate length and production crew members. Eventually in 2001, producers James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Al Jean, Richard Sakai and Mike Scully began development of the film, and a writing team consisting of Brooks, Groening, Jean, Scully, Ian Maxtone-Graham, George Meyer, David Mirkin, Mike Reiss, Matt Selman, John Swartzwelder and Jon Vitti was assembled. They conceived numerous plot ideas, with Groening's being the one developed into a film. The script was re-written over a hundred times, and this rewriting continued after the animation had begun in 2006. Consequently, hours of finished material was cut from the final release, including cameo roles from Erin Brockovich, Minnie Driver, Isla Fisher, Kelsey Grammer and Edward Norton; Tom Hanks and the members of Green Day appeared in the final cut as their animated selves, while Brooks, a frequent guest performer on the series, provided the voice of Cargill.

Tie-in promotions were made with several companies to promote the film's release, including Burger King and 7-Eleven, the latter of which transformed selected stores into Kwik-E-Marts. The film premiered in Springfield, Vermont on July 21, 2007, and was released six days later by 20th Century Fox across the United States. The Simpsons Movie was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $527 million worldwide, making it the eighth highest-grossing film of 2007 and the highest-ever grossing film based on an animated television series.

In August 2018, it was reported that a sequel is in development.

The Telltale Head

"The Telltale Head" is the eighth episode of The Simpsons' first season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 25, 1990. It was written by Al Jean, Mike Reiss, Sam Simon and Matt Groening, and directed by Rich Moore. In the episode, Bart cuts the head off the statue of Jebediah Springfield in the center of town to impress Jimbo, Kearney and Dolph, three older kids he admires. The town's residents, including the three boys, are horrified and Bart regrets his actions. After telling Lisa and Marge, Homer and Bart head to the center of town, where they are met by an angry mob. After Bart tells the mob the boys has made a mistake, the townspeople forgive Bart and the boy places the head back on the statue. The episode's title is a reference to the short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe.

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