Gracie Films

Gracie Films is an American independent film and television production company created by James L. Brooks in 1986. The company is primarily responsible for producing the long-running animated series The Simpsons, as well as the films Big, Broadcast News, and Jerry Maguire.

Gracie Films
IndustryFilm and television animation production
FounderJames L. Brooks
United States
Key people
Richard Sakai (President)[1]


James L. Brooks founded Gracie Films at 20th Century Fox in 1986, with Polly Platt as executive vice president. Named for comedian Gracie Allen, the company was established to "provide real writers with a vehicle to get their movies made".[2] Its primary distributor is currently Sony Pictures Entertainment, though it continues to produce The Simpsons at Fox's studios in Century City, Los Angeles.

According to Simpsons Confidential, Brooks gave The Simpsons' writing staff free rein, as he firmly believed they were the most important part of the process,[3] and "in the legal battles over The Simpsons, it was Fox that was being sued, not Gracie Films".[4] The company also coordinates international distribution and dubbing for The Simpsons,[5] "in Italy, in particular... [finding] voices for dubbing that would match those of the original American actors as closely as possible."[6]

Gracie Films' production logo depicts noisy patrons in a movie theater being shushed by a woman before the company's name appears on the screen, accompanied by its nine-note musical signature.[7] Treehouse of Horror episodes often have the jingle played in minor key on a pipe organ, with the shush replaced by a woman screaming. Other audio variations exist on The Simpsons, often with dialogue from the episode or characters such as Homer responding to the shush.



Title Creator(s) Years active Co-Produced by
The Tracey Ullman Show James L. Brooks, Jerry Belson, Ken Estin, Heide Perlman 1987–1990 20th Century Fox Television
The Simpsons Matt Groening 1989-present 20th Century Fox Television, The Curiosity Company (Season 28–present)
Sibs Heide Perlman 1991–1992 Columbia Pictures Television
Phenom Sam Simon, Dick Blasucci, Marc Flanagan 1993–1994 Columbia Pictures Television, ELP Communications
The Critic Al Jean, Mike Reiss 1994–1995 Columbia Pictures Television, Film Roman
What About Joan? Ed. Weinberger 2001–2002 Columbia TriStar Television


Title Director Released Distributor Co-produced by Note
Broadcast News James L. Brooks December 16, 1987 20th Century Fox
Big Penny Marshall June 3, 1988
Say Anything... Cameron Crowe April 14, 1989
The War of the Roses Danny DeVito December 8, 1989 Jersey Films
Regency International Pictures (Uncredited)
I'll Do Anything James L. Brooks February 4, 1994 Columbia Pictures
Bottle Rocket Wes Anderson February 21, 1996 Indian Paintbrush
Boyle-Taylor Productions
Jerry Maguire Cameron Crowe December 16, 1996 TriStar Pictures Vinyl Films
As Good as It Gets James L. Brooks December 25, 1997
Riding in Cars with Boys Penny Marshall October 19, 2001 Columbia Pictures
Spanglish James L. Brooks December 17, 2004
The Simpsons Movie David Silverman July 27, 2007 20th Century Fox Rough Draft Feature Animation
Film Roman
20th Century Fox Animation
Animated film based on the hit TV show
How Do You Know James L. Brooks December 17, 2010 Columbia Pictures
The Edge of Seventeen Kelly Fremon Craig November 18, 2016 STX Entertainment Huayi Brothers Pictures
Tang Media Productions
Icebox Daniel Sawka December 5, 2018 Home Box Office HBO Films
Endeavor Content
Feature length adaption of the 2016 short film.

Miscellaneous productions

Title Released Distributor Co-produced by Note
Maggie Simpson in "The Longest Daycare" July 13, 2012 20th Century Fox Animation Film Roman Short film, shown with Ice Age: Continental Drift


  1. ^ "Richard Sakai / Variety". Variety. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  2. ^ Alisa Perren, Indie, Inc.: Miramax and the Transformation of Hollywood in the 1990s, p. 159, at Google Books
  3. ^ John Ortved, Simpsons Confidential, p. 30, at Google Books
  4. ^ John Ortved, Simpsons Confidential: The uncensored, totally unauthorised history of the world's greatest TV show by the people that made it, p. 126, at Google Books
  5. ^ Michela Ardizzoni, Chiara Ferrari (eds.), Beyond Monopoly: Globalization and Contemporary Italian Media, p. 101, at Google Books
  6. ^ Chiara Francesca Ferrari, Since When Is Fran Drescher Jewish?: Dubbing Stereotypes in The Nanny, The Simpsons, and The Sopranos, p. 73, at Google Books
  7. ^ "All Gracie Films Variants" on YouTube

External links

Annie Award for Best Animated Television Production

The Annie Award for Best Animated Television Production is an Annie Award, awarded annually to the best animated television show. In 1998, the award was split into two categories, Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Daytime Television Program and Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Primetime or Late Night Television Program, but was eventually combined into one category again. In 2008, the award received an offshoot category, the Annie Award for Best Animated Television Production for Children. This category will be listed here until it becomes a permanent establishment.

As Good as It Gets

As Good as It Gets is a 1997 American romantic comedy film directed by James L. Brooks, who co-wrote it with Mark Andrus. The film stars Jack Nicholson as a misanthropic and obsessive-compulsive novelist, Helen Hunt as a single mother with a chronically ill son, and Greg Kinnear as a gay artist. The paintings were created for the film by New York artist Billy Sullivan.Nicholson and Hunt won the Academy Award for Best Actor and Best Actress, respectively, making As Good As It Gets the most recent film to win both of the lead acting awards, and the first since 1991's The Silence of the Lambs. It is ranked 140th on Empire magazine's "The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time" list.

Big (film)

Big is a 1988 American fantasy comedy film directed by Penny Marshall, and stars Tom Hanks as Adult Josh Baskin, a young boy who makes a wish "to be big" and is then aged to adulthood overnight. The film also stars Elizabeth Perkins, David Moscow as young Josh, John Heard and Robert Loggia, and was written by Gary Ross and Anne Spielberg. It was produced by Gracie Films and distributed by 20th Century Fox.

Upon release, the film was met with universal critical acclaim, particularly for Hanks' performance. It was a huge commercial success as well, grossing $151 million worldwide against a production budget of $18 million.

Bottle Rocket

Bottle Rocket is a 1996 American crime-comedy film directed by Wes Anderson with a screenplay by Anderson and Owen Wilson based on Anderson's 1994 short film of the same name. In addition to being Wes Anderson's feature-length directorial debut, Bottle Rocket was the debut feature for brothers Owen and Luke Wilson, who co-starred with James Caan and Robert Musgrave.

The film was a commercial failure but launched Anderson's career by drawing attention from critics. Director Martin Scorsese later named Bottle Rocket one of his top-ten favorite movies of the 1990s.

Broadcast News (film)

Broadcast News is a 1987 American romantic comedy-drama film written, produced and directed by James L. Brooks. The film concerns a virtuoso television news producer (Holly Hunter), who has daily emotional breakdowns, a brilliant yet prickly reporter (Albert Brooks) and his charismatic but far less seasoned rival (William Hurt). It also stars Robert Prosky, Lois Chiles, Joan Cusack, and Jack Nicholson (billed only in the end credits) as the evening news anchor.

In 2018, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

How Do You Know

How Do You Know is a 2010 American romantic comedy-drama film directed, written, and produced by James L. Brooks and starring Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, and Jack Nicholson. It was the third film to feature Witherspoon and Rudd following 1998’s Overnight Delivery and 2009’s Monsters vs. Aliens.

The film was shot in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.. How Do You Know was released theatrically on December 17, 2010, and was a box office bomb, grossing $49 million against a $100 million net budget.

I'll Do Anything

I'll Do Anything is a 1994 American satirical comedy-drama film written and directed by James L. Brooks. While a large part of the film is a satire of the film industry, it also skewers relationships from various angles. Its primary plot concerns a down-on-his-luck actor who suddenly finds himself the sole caretaker of his six-year-old daughter.

Jerry Maguire

Jerry Maguire is a 1996 American romantic comedy-drama sports film written, produced, and directed by Cameron Crowe, and stars Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Renée Zellweger. Produced in part by long time Simpsons producer James L. Brooks, it was inspired by sports agent Leigh Steinberg, who acted as technical consultant on the crew. It was released in North American theaters on December 13, 1996, produced by Gracie Films and distributed by TriStar Pictures.

The film received critical acclaim, with critics praising its acting and writing. The film was a financial success, bringing in more than $273 million worldwide against its $50 million budget. It was the ninth-highest-grossing film of 1996.

The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Tom Cruise, with Cuba Gooding Jr. winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. The film was also nominated for three Golden Globes, with Tom Cruise winning for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards, with Cuba Gooding Jr. winning Best Supporting Actor.

Phenom (TV series)

Phenom is an American sitcom about a tennis wunderkind that aired on ABC from September 14, 1993 to May 10, 1994. The series stars Angela Goethals, Judith Light, and William Devane.Phenom was placed in the time slot of Tuesdays at 8:30/7:30c, between Full House and Roseanne. The series did well in the ratings, ranking in the Top 20 and maintaining 95% of its Full House lead-in. ABC cancelled the show after one season and replaced it with Me and the Boys, which was also cancelled after one season.

Richard Sakai

Richard Sakai (born January 28, 1954) is an American television and film producer. He is best known for his work on the animated sitcom The Simpsons, for which he is one of the original producers. In 1997, Sakai was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture for his work on the film Jerry Maguire (1996).Sakai began his career as an assistant to James L. Brooks in 1977. In 1984, Brooks invited Sakai to become a producer in his new film production company, Gracie Films. Sakai ultimately produced many of Brooks' films, such as Jerry Maguire, As Good as It Gets (1997), and Spanglish (2004). Sakai also produced Bottle Rocket (1996) and Riding in Cars with Boys (2001). Additionally, he was a producer for The Simpsons Movie (2007).

As a television producer and director, Sakai has worked on many different shows. He has directed episodes of Taxi, Newhart, and Who's the Boss?. He has also produced episodes of The Tracey Ullman Show, The Critic, Phenom, and What About Joan? in addition to his work on The Simpsons, for which he has won several Emmy Awards.

On The Simpsons, Sakai has been animated several times, most notably as: a karaoke singer in the episode "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish"; an escaping prisoner in a commercial about "revolving door prisons" in "Sideshow Bob Roberts"; and a jazz vibraphone player in "Jazzy and the Pussycats".

Sakai is currently president of Gracie Films.

Riding in Cars with Boys

Riding in Cars with Boys is a 2001 American biographical film based on the autobiography of the same name by Beverly Donofrio about a woman who overcame difficulties, including being a teen mother, and who later earned a master's degree. The movie's narrative spans the years 1961 to 1986. It stars Drew Barrymore, Steve Zahn, Brittany Murphy, and James Woods. It was the last film directed by Penny Marshall. Although the film is co-produced by Beverly Donofrio, many of its details differ from the book.

Say Anything...

Say Anything... is a 1989 American teen romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Cameron Crowe in his directorial debut. The film follows the romance between Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack), an average student, and Diane Court (Ione Skye), the class valedictorian, immediately after their graduation from high school. In 2002, Entertainment Weekly ranked Say Anything ... as the greatest modern movie romance, and it was ranked number 11 on Entertainment Weekly's list of the 50 best high-school movies.


Sibs is an American sitcom broadcast by ABC from September 17, 1991 until May 6, 1992. The series chronicled the relationship of three sisters, and the support the youngest two especially needed from their eldest married sister. Sibs was created by Heide Perlman and executived produced by Perlman, James L. Brooks and Sam Simon, all of whom had been showrunners of Fox's The Tracey Ullman Show. The series was backed by Brooks' Gracie Films company and Columbia Pictures Television.

Spanglish (film)

Spanglish is a 2004 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by James L. Brooks and starring Adam Sandler, Téa Leoni, Paz Vega, and Cloris Leachman. It was released in the United States on December 17, 2004 by Columbia Pictures. The film grossed $55 million worldwide on an $80 million production budget, and received mixed reviews from critics.

The Edge of Seventeen

The Edge of Seventeen is a 2016 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig. The film stars Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson, Kyra Sedgwick, and Haley Lu Richardson. Principal photography began on October 21, 2015, in Vancouver and ended on December 3, 2015.

The film premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival on September 16, 2016, and was theatrically released on November 18, 2016, by STXfilms. It received positive reviews, with Steinfeld's performance being critically lauded, and grossed over $18 million.

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 Tracey Ullman Show

The Tracey Ullman Show is an American television variety show starring Tracey Ullman. It debuted on Fox on April 5, 1987 (the network's second original primetime series to air following Married... with Children) and ran until May 26, 1990. The show was produced by Gracie Films and 20th Century Fox Television. The show blended sketch comedy with musical numbers and dance routines, choreographed by Paula Abdul, along with animated shorts. The format was conceived by creator and executive producer James L. Brooks, who was looking to showcase the show's multitalented star. Brooks likened the show to producing three pilots a week. Ullman was the first British woman to be offered her own television sketch show in both the United Kingdom and the United States.The show is also known for producing a series of shorts featuring the Simpson family, which was later adapted into the longest-running American scripted primetime television series, The Simpsons. The Tracey Ullman Show garnered Fox its first ever Emmy nomination and win; it was awarded a total of 11.

Rolling Stone ranked The Tracey Ullman Show as the #25 best sketch comedy show in its "40 Greatest Sketch-Comedy TV Shows of All Time" list.This was the first sketch comedy show to have a female star on Fox; the second was Party Over Here in 2015.

The War of the Roses (film)

The War of the Roses is a 1989 American dark comedy film based upon the 1981 novel of the same name by Warren Adler. The film follows a wealthy couple with a seemingly perfect marriage. When their marriage begins to fall apart, material possessions become the center of an outrageous and bitter divorce battle.

The film co-stars Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny DeVito. The three actors had previously worked together in Romancing the Stone and its sequel The Jewel of the Nile. DeVito directed the film, which also had producer James L. Brooks and actor Dan Castellaneta working on a project outside of The Simpsons. The opening title sequence was created by Saul Bass and Elaine Makatura Bass.

In both the novel and the film, the married couple's family name is Rose, and the title is an allusion to the battles between the Houses of York and Lancaster (English Civil War) during the Late Middle Ages.

What About Joan?

What About Joan? is an American sitcom that aired on ABC for two seasons in 2001. It starred Joan Cusack as Joan Gallagher, a Chicago schoolteacher and the comedy of her day-to-day life. It co-starred Kyle Chandler. It was produced by James L. Brooks, Richard Sakai, David Richardson, and Ed Weinberger.

Gracie Films
TV series
Film studios in the United States and Canada


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