The Simpsons (season 1)

The first season of the American animated television series The Simpsons originally aired on the Fox network between December 17, 1989 and May 13, 1990, beginning with the Christmas special "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". The executive producers for the first production season were Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, and Sam Simon.[1]

The series was originally set to debut in autumn 1989 with the episode "Some Enchanted Evening", which was meant to introduce the main characters;[2] during the first screening of the episode, the producers discovered that the animation was so appalling that 70% of the episode needed to be redone.[3]

The producers considered aborting the series if the next episode turned out as bad, but it only suffered from easily fixable problems. The producers convinced Fox to move the debut to December 17, and aired "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" as the first episode of the series.[2] The first season won one Emmy Award, and received four additional nominations.[4] The DVD boxset was released on September 25, 2001 in Region 1 and September 24, 2001 in both Region 2 and Region 4.

The Simpsons (season 1)
The Simpsons - The Complete 1st Season
DVD cover featuring the Simpsons family sitting on their couch watching television inside a TV
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes13
Release
Original networkFox
Original releaseDecember 17, 1989 –
May 13, 1990
Season chronology

Development

Origin of The Simpsons

Matt Groening by Gage Skidmore
The Simpsons creator Matt Groening

The Simpsons creator Matt Groening conceived the idea for the Simpsons in the lobby of James L. Brooks's office. Brooks, the producer of the sketch comedy program The Tracey Ullman Show, wanted to use a series of animated shorts as bumpers between sketches. He had asked Groening to pitch an idea for a series of animated shorts, which Groening initially intended to present as his Life in Hell series. When Groening realized that animating Life in Hell would require the rescinding of publication rights for his life's work, he chose another approach and formulated his version of a dysfunctional family.[5]

The Simpson family first appeared as shorts in The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987.[6] Groening submitted only basic sketches to the animators and assumed that the figures would be cleaned up in production. The animators merely re-traced his drawings, which led to the crude appearance of the characters in the initial short episodes.[7]

Production

In 1989, a team of production companies adapted The Simpsons into a half-hour series for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The team included what is now the Klasky Csupo animation house. During the years of producing the shorts, everything was created in-house. Due to the increased workload of the full-length episodes, production was subcontracted to South Korean animation studio AKOM.[8] While character and background layout is done by the domestic studio, tweening, coloring, and filming are done by the overseas studio.[8]

The Simpsons was co-developed by Groening, James L. Brooks, and Sam Simon, a writer-producer with whom Brooks had worked on previous projects. Groening and Simon, however, did not get along[9] and were often in conflict over the show;[10] Groening once described their relationship as "very contentious".[11] Groening said his goal in creating the show was to offer the audience an alternative to what he called "the mainstream trash" that they were watching.[12] Brooks negotiated a provision in the contract with the Fox network that prevented Fox from interfering with the show's content.[13] Fox was nervous about the show because they were unsure if it could sustain the audience's attention for the duration of the episode.[2] They proposed doing three seven-minute shorts per episode and four specials until the audience adjusted,[2] but in the end, the producers gambled by asking Fox for 13 full-length episodes.[14]

Simon assembled and led the initial team of writers, consisting of John Swartzwelder, Jon Vitti, George Meyer, Jeff Martin, Al Jean, Mike Reiss, Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky.[15][16] Simon has been credited as "developing [the show's] sensibility".[17] Ken Levine says he "brought a level of honesty to the characters" and made them "three-dimensional", adding that Simon's "comedy is all about character, not just a string of gags. In The Simpsons, the characters are motivated by their emotions and their foibles. 'What are they thinking?'—that is Sam's contribution. The stories come from the characters."[17] Simon saw The Simpsons as a chance to solve "what [he] didn't like about the Saturday-morning cartoon shows [he had] worked on...[he] wanted all the actors in a room together, not reading their lines separated from each other. The Simpsons would have been a great radio show. If you just listen to the sound track, it works."[17] The music for all 13 episodes was composed by former Oingo Boingo member Richard Gibbs,[18] who would depart the show at the end of the season.

The series was originally set to debut in the fall of 1989 with the episode "Some Enchanted Evening", which was meant to introduce the main characters.[2] A debacle erupted when the episode "Some Enchanted Evening", the first to return from animation in Korea, was screened in front of the production staff at the Gracie Films bungalow.[2] The executive producer and developer James L. Brooks' initial reaction to the animation was "This is shit."[2] After that reaction the room almost cleared.[2] A heated argument ensued between Brooks and Klasky-Csupo animation studio head Gábor Csupó, who denied that there was anything wrong with the animation and suggested that the real problem was the quality of the show's writing.[19]

The problem with the animation from the producers' point-of-view was that it did not exhibit a distinct style envisioned for the show. At the time there were only a few choices for animation style. Usually, they would either follow the style of Disney, Warner Bros., or Hanna-Barbera. Disney and Warner Bros. cartoons had a universe that was bendy and the characters seemed to be made of rubber.[2] The producers wanted a realistic environment in which the characters and objects could not do anything that was not possible in the real world. One example with the early animation being cartoonish was that the doors behaved liked rubber when slammed. The style of Hanna-Barbera featured the use of cartoon sounds, which they did not want either.[2]

However, during the first screening of the episode, the producers discovered that the animation was so appalling that 70% of the episode needed to be redone.[3] The producers considered aborting the series if the next episode ("Bart the Genius") turned out as bad, but it only suffered from a few, easily fixable problems. The producers convinced Fox to move the debut to December 17, and aired "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" as the first episode of the series.[2]

The half hour series premiere debuted on December 17, 1989 with "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" a Christmas special. The next episode "Bart the Genius" was the first to feature the series' full title sequence, including the chalkboard gag and couch gag. Matt Groening developed the lengthy sequence in order to cut down on the animation necessary for each episode, but devised the two gags as compensation for the repeated material each week.[20] Groening, who had not paid much attention to television since his own childhood, was unaware that title sequences of such length were uncommon by that time.[20] As the finished episodes became longer, the production team were reluctant to cut the stories in order to allow for the long title sequence, so shorter versions of it were developed.[21]

In some of the episodes the characters act completely differently to how they do in later seasons; Lisa, for example, is undisciplined and short-tempered, while Homer is the voice of reason; these roles are reversed in later episodes.[22] Mr. Burns was voiced by Christopher Collins in "Homer's Odyssey". Originally, the character was influenced by Ronald Reagan, a concept which was later dropped.[22]

The first episode featured many new characters such as Seymour Skinner, Milhouse Van Houten, Sherri and Terri, Moe Szyslak, Mr. Burns, Barney Gumble, Patty and Selma, Ned and Todd Flanders, Santa's Little Helper, Snowball II, Dewey Largo, and Lewis.[23] Snowball I is mentioned for the first time and Waylon Smithers can be heard over the speaker at the power plant, but he is not seen.[23]

The following episodes in the season saw the introduction of several new recurring characters, including Martin Prince, Richard, Edna Krabappel, Dr. J Loren Pryor,[24] Waylon Smithers, Otto Mann, Chief Wiggum, Jasper Beardley, Sam & Larry, Mr. & Mrs. Winfield, Sherri and Terri,[25] Dr. Marvin Monroe, Eddie and Lou,[26] Nelson Muntz, Herman,[27] Bleeding Gums Murphy, Jacqueline Bouvier,[28] Sideshow Bob, Reverend Timothy Lovejoy, Krusty the Clown, Jimbo Jones, Kearney Zzyzwicz, Dolphin "Dolph" Starbeam, Ms. Albright, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon,[29] Lenny and Carl, Kent Brockman and Agnes Skinner.[30]

Voice cast

Main cast

Recurring

Reception

Ratings

The Simpsons first season was the Fox network's first TV series to rank among a season's top 30 highest-rated shows.[31] It won one Emmy Award, and received four additional nominations. Although television shows are limited to one episode a category, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" was considered a separate special, and nominated alongside fellow episode "Life on the Fast Lane" for Outstanding Animated Program; "Life on the Fast Lane" won the award. "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" was also nominated for "Outstanding Editing in a Miniseries or Special", while "The Call of the Simpsons" was nominated for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or a Special". The main theme song, composed by Danny Elfman, was nominated for "Outstanding Achievement in Main Title Theme Music".[4]

Reception

On Metacritic, a site which uses a weighted mean score, the season scored a 79/100 from six critics, translating to "generally favorable reviews." However, the show was controversial from its beginning. The rebellious lead character at the time, Bart, frequently received no punishment for his misbehavior, which led some parents to characterize him as a poor role model for children.[32][33] Several US public schools even banned The Simpsons merchandise and t-shirts, such as one featuring Bart and the caption "Underachiever ('And proud of it, man!')".[34] Despite the ban, The Simpsons merchandise sold well and generated US$2 billion in revenue during the first 14 months of sales.[34]

Episodes

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
11"Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"David SilvermanMimi PondDecember 17, 19897G0826.7[35]
While Christmas shopping, Bart sneaks off and gets a tattoo. Marge soon discovers this and uses the family's Christmas savings to get it removed. Meanwhile, Homer discovers that he will not be getting a Christmas bonus from Mr. Burns and thus the family has no money to buy Christmas presents. He decides to keep their financial troubles a secret and gets a job as a department store Santa, but later discovers that the job does not pay enough. Desperate for a miracle, Homer and Bart go to the dog racing track on Christmas Eve in hopes of earning some money. He bets it all on a long shot named Santa's Little Helper, who loses. Angry that he lost, Santa's Little Helper's owner disowns him and Homer lets Bart keep him. Later on, Homer attempts to come clean to everyone, but Bart exclaims that they have a dog and everyone happily welcomes the newest member of the Simpson family.
22"Bart the Genius"David SilvermanJon VittiJanuary 14, 19907G0224.5[35]

Bart has trouble on an intelligence test and sneakily switches tests with Martin Prince, the class genius. After the results are tabulated, the school psychiatrist labels Bart a genius and sends him to the Enriched Learning Center for Gifted Children. Homer starts treating Bart with respect, but Bart immediately feels out of place among his new classmates and is alienated from his old peers. He confesses that he cheated on the test and is subsequently sent back to Springfield Elementary School.[36]

Note: First episode to feature Edna Krabappel
33"Homer's Odyssey"Wesley ArcherJay Kogen & Wallace WolodarskyJanuary 21, 19907G0327.5[38]
Bart's class visits the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and Homer, anxious to look like he is working, accidentally crashes his cart into a radioactive pipe, causing him to be fired. Depressed and unable to find a new job, he decides to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge. His family discover his plan and try to stop him, but in the process they are almost run over by a truck. Discovering his new purpose, Homer embarks on a safety crusade and eventually decides to go after the Nuclear Plant and holds protest rallies. To end Homer's furor, Mr. Burns offers him a job as safety inspector, with increased salary, which Homer accepts.
Guest star: Sam McMurray[37]
44"There's No Disgrace Like Home"Gregg Vanzo & Kent ButterworthAl Jean & Mike ReissJanuary 28, 19907G0420.2[40]
Homer takes his family to the company picnic at Mr. Burns's manor. Marge, Bart and Lisa embarrass Homer and he notices that Mr. Burns seems to favour a family who love and respect one another. Convinced that both he and his family are pathetic, he takes everyone to Dr. Marvin Monroe's family therapy center. When standard methods prove useless in civilizing the family, Monroe resorts to shock therapy and wire the Simpsons to electrodes. Soon the Simpsons start shocking one another and cause Springfield to lose power.[39]
55"Bart the General"David SilvermanJohn SwartzwelderFebruary 4, 19907G0527.1[42]
Bart runs afoul of Nelson Muntz, the school bully, who begins attacking Bart every day after school. Homer suggests fighting back, which does not work. Desperate for a solution, Bart visits Grampa for advice. Grampa takes Bart to meet Herman, who suggests that Bart rally all of the school children and declare war on Nelson. Bart and his army attack Nelson and successfully manage to convince him to give up his bullying ways.[41]
66"Moaning Lisa"Wesley ArcherAl Jean & Mike ReissFebruary 11, 19907G0627.4[44]
Lisa becomes depressed, which begins to affect her performance in school. Neither Marge nor Homer are able to make Lisa happier. One night, she hears distant Jazz music and sneaks out of her room to follow it. She meets Bleeding Gums Murphy, who teaches her how to express her music through the saxophone. When Marge drops Lisa off at school the next day, she suggests that Lisa smile no matter how she feels. However, Marge sees that Lisa is being denied her creativity and realizes that that's what is disappointing her. Marge tells Lisa to just be herself, and the entire family go to see Murphy perform at a local Jazz club.
Guest star: Ron Taylor.[43]
77"The Call of the Simpsons"Wesley ArcherJohn SwartzwelderFebruary 18, 19907G0927.6[46]
Homer becomes envious of Flanders' new RV and goes to "Bob's RV Round-up" to buy one of his own. Settling on a dilapidated camper, he takes the family camping and in the process destroys the RV. Leaving Lisa and Marge behind, Bart and Homer try to find their way back to civilization, but have little luck. Later on, Homer is mistaken for Bigfoot and captured. Marge, Bart and Lisa are saved and Homer is released, although scientists say that they can not determine which species he belongs to.
Guest star: Albert Brooks.[45]
88"The Telltale Head"Rich MooreAl Jean, Mike Reiss, Sam Simon & Matt GroeningFebruary 25, 19907G0728[48]

Bart becomes friends with Jimbo, Dolph, and Kearney, a group of local troublemakers. Trying to impress them, Bart decides to cut off and steal the head of the statue of Jebediah Springfield. The next day, the entire town grieves for the vandalized statue and Bart discovers that his new friends want to attack the vandal. Feeling remorse, Bart confesses to his family and Homer and Bart take the head back to the statue after passing through the furious people.[47]

Notes: First episode to feature Krusty, Sideshow Bob, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon and Reverend Lovejoy.
99"Life on the Fast Lane"David SilvermanJohn SwartzwelderMarch 18, 19907G1133.5[50]
Having forgotten about Marge's birthday, Homer rushes to the Springfield mall and impulsively buys her a bowling ball. Marge is not impressed with the gift and after discovering that he intends to use it, she decides to spite him by going bowling herself. While at the alley, she meets Jacques, a charming French bowling instructor, who offers her lessons. Jacques begins to fall for Marge and invites her to his apartment. Although she agrees, Marge undergoes a moral dilemma. In the end, Marge visits Homer at the nuclear plant.
Guest star: Albert Brooks.[49]
1010"Homer's Night Out"Rich MooreJon VittiMarch 25, 19907G1030.3[52]
Bart purchases a mini spy camera and manages to take a picture of Homer dancing next to stripper named Princess Kashmir at a co-worker's strip club party. He gives copies of the picture to his friends, and eventually the picture starts to circulate around until eventually Marge sees it. She kicks Homer out of the house, but the next day explains that she is not upset about him dancing next to a woman, but rather that Bart saw it. She demands that he take Bart and go apologize to Princess Kashmir. Homer agrees and says that he is ready to start respecting women.
Guest star: Sam McMurray.[51]
1111"The Crepes of Wrath"Wesley Archer & Milton GrayGeorge Meyer, Sam Simon, John Swartzwelder & Jon VittiApril 15, 19907G1331.2[54]

Principal Skinner finally becomes fed up with Bart's pranks and proposes that Bart be sent to France as part of the student exchange program. The family agrees and Bart is sent to the "beautiful" Château Maison, which is actually a dilapidated farmhouse on a neglected vineyard. Bart is treated like a slave by two unscrupulous winemakers, César and Ugolin, who eventually feed him wine tainted with antifreeze. Meanwhile, an Albanian boy named Adil starts to live with the Simpsons who, unbeknownst to Homer, is a spy sent by his country to obtain nuclear blueprints. Back in France, Bart learns French and reports the winemakers' crimes to the authorities.[53]

Note: First episode to feature Agnes Skinner.
1212"Krusty Gets Busted"Brad BirdJay Kogen & Wallace WolodarskyApril 29, 19907G1230.4[56]

While buying ice cream at the Kwik-E-Mart, Homer witnesses a robbery perpetrated by a man believed to be Krusty the Clown, host of "Krusty the Clown Show", Bart's favorite program. Krusty is sent to jail and his show is taken over by his assistant, Sideshow Bob. Bart is certain that Krusty is innocent, and gathers evidence to support his claim, which he takes to "Krusty's bestest friend", Sideshow Bob. Bart realizes that the robbery was actually committed by Bob, who was trying to frame Krusty. Bob is arrested and Krusty thanks Bart for saving him.
Guest star: Kelsey Grammer.[55]

Note: First episode to feature Kent Brockman.
1313"Some Enchanted Evening"David Silverman & Kent ButterworthMatt Groening & Sam SimonMay 13, 19907G0127.1[58]
Marge, feeling unappreciated by Homer, makes a call to a radio therapist, which Homer overhears at work. Homer, wanting to make it up to Marge, decides to take her to dinner at a fancy restaurant and hires a babysitter to take care of Bart and Lisa. They are sent Ms. Botz, who Bart and Lisa soon discover is actually a burglar nicknamed "The Babysitter Bandit". They are captured by Ms. Botz and tied up but eventually are freed by Maggie. Bart and Lisa capture Ms. Botz and call the police. Meanwhile, Marge and Homer return home and find Ms. Botz is tied up. Homer, unaware of her true identity, frees her and Ms. Botz makes a clean getaway just moments before the police arrive.
Guest stars: June Foray, Christopher Collins, Penny Marshall and Paul Willson.[57]

DVD release

The DVD boxset for season one was released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment in the United States and Canada in September 2001, eleven years after it had completed broadcast on television. As well as every episode from the season, the DVD release features bonus material including deleted scenes, Animatics, and commentaries for every episode. When the first season DVD was released in 2001, it quickly became the best-selling television DVD in history, although it was later overtaken by the first season of Chappelle's Show.[59]

The Complete First Season
Set Details[60][61][62] Special Features[60][61][62]
  • 13 episodes
  • 3-disc set
  • 1.33:1 aspect ratio
  • AUDIO
    • English 5.1 Dolby Digital
    • English 2.0 Dolby Surround
    • French 2.0 Dolby Surround
  • SUBTITLES
Release Dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
September 25, 2001 September 24, 2001 September 24, 2001

See also

References

  1. ^ Richmond & Coffman 1997, pp. 16–17.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Groening, Matt (2001). The Simpsons season 1 DVD commentary for the episode "Some Enchanted Evening" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  3. ^ a b Silverman, David (2001). The Simpsons season 1 DVD commentary for the episode "Some Enchanted Evening" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  4. ^ a b Emmy Awards official site Archived February 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine "The Simpsons" "1989–1990" emmys.org. Retrieved on July 3, 2007
  5. ^ Groening, Matt (14 February 2003). "Fresh Air". NPR (Interview). Interviewed by David Bianculli. Philadelphia: WHYY. Retrieved 8 August 2007.
  6. ^ Richmond & Coffman 1997, p. 14.
  7. ^ BBC (2000). 'The Simpsons': America's First Family (6 minute edit for the season 1 DVD) (DVD)|format= requires |url= (help). UK: 20th Century Fox.
  8. ^ a b Deneroff, Harvey (January 2000). "Matt Groening's Baby Turns 10". Animation Magazine, Vol. 14, #1. pp. 10, 12.
  9. ^ Ortved 2009, p. 72.
  10. ^ Brennan, Judy (1995-03-03). "Matt Groening's Reaction to The Critic's First Appearance on The Simpsons". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on August 31, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-04. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  11. ^ Scott 2001.
  12. ^ Tucker, Ken (12 March 1993). "Toon Terrific". Entertainment Weekly. p. 48(3).
  13. ^ Kuipers, Dean (2004-04-15). "3rd Degree: Harry Shearer". Los Angeles: City Beat. Archived from the original on 2006-07-17. Retrieved 2006-09-01. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  14. ^ Brooks, James L. (2001). The Simpsons season 1 DVD commentary for the episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  15. ^ Ortved 2009, p. 58
  16. ^ Owen, David (2000-03-13). "Taking Humour Seriously". The New Yorker.
  17. ^ a b c Rapoport, Ron (2009). "Sam Simon's Next Trick". Stanford Magazine. Archived from the original on 2011-12-29. Retrieved 2011-06-18. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  18. ^ Clark, Rich (2010). Mixing, Recording, and Producing Techniques of the Pros: Insights on Recording Audio for Music, Film, TV, and Games (2nd ed.). Cengage Learning. ISBN 978-1-59863-915-5.
  19. ^ Brooks, James L. (2001). The Simpsons season 1 DVD commentary for the episode "Some Enchanted Evening" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  20. ^ a b Groening, Matt (2001). The Simpsons season 1 DVD commentary for the episode "Bart the Genius" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  21. ^ Silverman, David (2001). The Simpsons season 1 DVD commentary for the episode "Bart the Genius" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  22. ^ a b Reiss, Mike (2001). The Simpsons season 1 DVD commentary for the episode "There's No Disgrace Like Home" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  23. ^ a b Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire BBC.co.uk. Retrieved on March 2, 2007
  24. ^ Martyn, Warren; Wood, Adrian (2000). "Bart the Genius". BBC. Retrieved 2007-08-05.
  25. ^ Martyn, Warren; Wood, Adrian (2000). "Homer's Odyssey". BBC. Retrieved 2007-07-30.
  26. ^ Jean, Al (2001). The Simpsons season 1 DVD commentary for the episode "There's No Disgrace Like Home" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  27. ^ Martyn, Warren; Wood, Adrian (2000). "Bart the General". BBC. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
  28. ^ Moaning Lisa BBC.co.uk. Retrieved on August 17, 2008
  29. ^ Call of the Simpsons BBC.co.uk. Retrieved on August 6, 2008
  30. ^ The Crepes of Wrath BBC.co.uk. Retrieved on August 29, 2008
  31. ^ "TV Ratings: 1989–1990". ClassicTVHits.com. Retrieved 2006-07-03.
  32. ^ Turner 2004, p. 131.
  33. ^ Rosenbaum, Martin (2007-06-29). "Is The Simpsons still subversive?". BBC News. Retrieved 2007-08-06.
  34. ^ a b Griffiths, Nick (2000-04-15). "America's First Family". The Times Magazine. pp. 25, 27–28.
  35. ^ a b Henry, Matthew (April 2007). "Don't Ask me, I'm Just a Girl: Feminism, Female Identity, and The Simpsons". The Journal of Popular Culture. 40 (2): 272–303. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5931.2007.00379.x.
  36. ^ Richmond & Coffman 1997, p. 18.
  37. ^ Richmond & Coffman 1997, p. 19.
  38. ^ "NIELSENS; A 'Grand' entrance for NBC". USA Today. January 24, 1990. p. 03.D.
  39. ^ Richmond & Coffman 1997, p. 20.
  40. ^ "NIELSENS; AMA gets the popular votes". USA Today. January 31, 1990. p. 03.D.
  41. ^ Richmond & Coffman 1997, p. 21.
  42. ^ "NIELSENS; 'Amen,' wedded to ratings win". USA Today. February 7, 1990. p. 03.D.
  43. ^ Richmond & Coffman 1997, p. 22.
  44. ^ "NIELSENS; 'Faith' abides for No.1 NBC". USA Today. February 14, 1990. p. 03.D.
  45. ^ Richmond & Coffman 1997, p. 23.
  46. ^ "NIELSENS; 'Home Videos' a hit for ABC". USA Today. February 21, 1990. p. 03.D.
  47. ^ Richmond & Coffman 1997, p. 24.
  48. ^ "NIELSENS; 'Videos' is a repeat winner". USA Today. February 28, 1990. p. 03.D.
  49. ^ Richmond & Coffman 1997, p. 25.
  50. ^ "NIELSENS; 'Simpsons' soar for No.4 Fox". USA Today. March 21, 1990. p. 03.D.
  51. ^ Richmond & Coffman 1997, p. 26.
  52. ^ "NIELSENS; Fox builds Sunday strength". USA Today. March 28, 1990. p. 03.D.
  53. ^ Richmond & Coffman 1997, p. 27.
  54. ^ unknown (April 27, 1990). "The Ratings. TV chart for week of April 9—15, 1990". Entertainment Weekly. TV ARTICLE. Published in issue #11 Apr 27, 1990. In millions of viewers ...  The Simpsons Fox, 31.2
  55. ^ Richmond & Coffman 1997, pp. 28–29.
  56. ^ unknown (May 11, 1990). "The Ratings". Entertainment Weekly. TV ARTICLE. Published in issue #13 May 11, 1990. In millions of viewers ...  The Simpsons Fox, 30.4
  57. ^ Richmond & Coffman 1997, pp. 30–31.
  58. ^ "NIELSENS; Sunday night sinks NBC". USA Today. May 16, 1990. p. 03.D.
  59. ^ Lambert, David (September 19, 2004). "Chapelle's Show—S1 DVD Passes The Simpsons As #1 All-Time TV-DVD; Celebrates by Announcing Season 2!". TVshowsonDVD.com. Archived from the original on July 4, 2006. Retrieved July 3, 2006. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  60. ^ a b "Simpsons, The — The Complete 1st Season". TV Shows on DVD.com. Archived from the original on 2007-03-03. Retrieved 2008-03-08. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  61. ^ a b c "The Simpsons Season 1 DVD". The Simpsons Shop. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-08. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  62. ^ a b c "The Simpsons Make Their DVD Debut In Fox Home Entertainment's Worldwide Release Of The Simpsons Season One Collector's Edition DVD Box Set". Business Wire. Berkshire Hathaway. July 11, 2001. Archived from the original on August 3, 2001. Retrieved June 5, 2019 – via Yahoo.com.
Bibliography

External links

Bart the General

"Bart the General" is the fifth episode of The Simpsons's first season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 4, 1990. The episode deals with Bart's troubles with the bully Nelson Muntz. Bart chooses to go to war with Nelson uniting the neighborhood children against him. The episode was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by David Silverman.

Bart the Genius

"Bart the Genius" is the second episode of The Simpsons' first season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 14, 1990. It was the first episode written by Jon Vitti. It is also the show's first normal episode, as well as the first to feature the iconic opening sequence, though this version is much different than the one used from the second season to the twentieth season. In the episode, Bart cheats on an intelligence test and is declared a genius, so he is sent to a school for gifted children. Though he initially enjoys being treated as a genius, he begins to see the downside of his new life.

It marks the first use of Bart's catchphrase "Eat my shorts". As the second episode produced, directly after James L. Brooks' personal displeasure at the animation of "Some Enchanted Evening", the future of the series depended on how the animation turned out on this episode. The animation proved to be more to his liking and production continued.

Homer's Night Out

"Homer's Night Out" is the tenth episode of The Simpsons' first season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 25, 1990. It was written by Jon Vitti and directed by Rich Moore. In the episode, Bart orders a mail-order spy camera, which he uses to secretly take a photograph of Homer dancing with an exotic belly dancer. Marge makes Homer apologize to the exotic dancer to teach Bart that women are not objects. Sam McMurray guest stars in the episode as Gulliver Dark, the man that introduces Homer to the crowd at the burlesque show.

The episode was well received by critics and it was the second highest rated show on the Fox network the week it aired. This episode, along with three other episodes of the show, is featured on The Simpsons "Gone Wild" DVD released in 2004.

Homer's Odyssey (The Simpsons)

"Homer's Odyssey" is the third episode of the first season of The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 21, 1990. In this episode, Homer becomes a crusader for citizen safety in Springfield, and is promoted to his current position as Nuclear Safety Inspector for the entire power plant. It was written by Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky and was the first Simpsons script to be completed, although it was the third episode produced.

Krusty Gets Busted

"Krusty Gets Busted" is the twelfth and penultimate episode of The Simpsons' first season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 29, 1990. The episode was written by Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky, and directed by Brad Bird. In the episode, Krusty the Clown is convicted of armed robbery of the Kwik-E-Mart. Convinced that Krusty has been framed, Bart and Lisa investigate the incident and discover that Krusty's sidekick, Sideshow Bob, was the culprit.

This episode marks the first full-fledged appearance of Kent Brockman, and Kelsey Grammer makes his first guest appearance on the show as the voice of Sideshow Bob. The episode was well received by critics, and it was the highest rated show on the Fox network the week it aired.

Life on the Fast Lane

"Life on the Fast Lane", also known as "Jacques to Be Wild", is the ninth episode of The Simpsons' first season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 18, 1990. It was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by David Silverman. Albert Brooks guest starred as Jacques, a French bowling instructor, with him being credited as "A. Brooks".The episode deals with how Homer's thoughtlessness precipitates Marge's infatuation with her bowling instructor Jacques, leading to a marriage crisis between her and Homer. In the original plan for the episode, Brooks (who improvised much of his dialogue) was to voice a Swedish tennis coach called Björn, with the episode to be titled "Björn To Be Wild".

The episode features a parody of the film An Officer and a Gentleman and won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour) in 1990.

List of The Simpsons cast members

The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom that includes six main voice actors and numerous regular cast and recurring guest stars. The principal cast consists of Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer. Chris Edgerly, Pamela Hayden, Tress MacNeille, Kevin Michael Richardson, Maggie Roswell, and Russi Taylor have appeared as supporting cast members, along with former supporting cast members Karl Wiedergott, Marcia Mitzman Gaven, Doris Grau, and Christopher Collins. Repeat guest cast members include Marcia Wallace, Albert Brooks, Phil Hartman, Jon Lovitz, Joe Mantegna and Kelsey Grammer. With one exception, episode credits list only the voice actors, and not the characters they voice.

Both Fox and the production crew wanted to keep their identities secret during the early seasons and closed most of the recording sessions while refusing to publish photos of the recording artists. The network eventually revealed which roles each actor performed in the episode "Old Money", because the producers said the voice actors should receive credit for their work. Every main cast member has won an Emmy for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance. Shearer was the last cast member to win, receiving his award in 2014 for the episode "Four Regrettings and a Funeral." Castellaneta and Azaria have won four, while Kavner, Cartwright, Smith, Shearer, Wallace, Grammer, and guest star Jackie Mason have each won one.

List of The Simpsons characters

Along with the Simpson family, The Simpsons includes a large array of characters: co-workers, teachers, family friends, extended relatives, townspeople, local celebrities, and as well as fictional characters. The creators originally intended many of these characters as one-time jokesters or for fulfilling needed functions in the town. A number of them have gained expanded roles and subsequently starred in their own episodes. According to creator Matt Groening, the show adopted the concept of a large supporting cast from the Canadian sketch comedy show Second City Television.The main episode characters, the Simpson family, are listed first; all other characters are listed in alphabetical order. Only main, supporting, and recurring characters are listed. For one-time and other recurring characters, see List of recurring The Simpsons characters and List of one-time The Simpsons characters.

List of The Simpsons couch gags

The Simpsons is an American animated television sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The opening sequence of The Simpsons features a couch gag: a "twist of events that befalls the Simpson family at the end of every credit sequence as they converge on their living-room couch to watch TV." The couch gag is a running visual joke near the end of the opening sequence.

The couch gag changes from episode to episode and usually features the Simpson family's living room couch. A typical gag features the Simpsons running into the living room, only to find some abnormality with the couch, be it a bizarre and unexpected occupant, an odd placement of the couch, such as on the ceiling, or any number of other situations, such as to make a pop culture reference. Longer couch gags have sometimes been used to fill time in shorter episodes, such as in "Lisa's First Word", "The Front" and "Cape Feare". The show's 500th episode "At Long Last Leave" showcases each couch gag that was used in the series.

Moaning Lisa

"Moaning Lisa" is the sixth episode of The Simpsons' first season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 11, 1990. The episode was written by Al Jean and Mike Reiss, and was directed by Wes Archer. Ron Taylor guest stars in the episode as Bleeding Gums Murphy. The episode deals with Lisa's depression and her attempts to sublimate it by playing her saxophone.

It received positive reviews from television critics.

Otto Mann

Otto Mann is a fictional character on the American animated TV series The Simpsons, voiced by Harry Shearer. He is the school bus driver for Springfield Elementary School, and is known or implied to be a user of several drugs.

Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire

"Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", also known as "The Simpsons Christmas Special", is the series premiere episode of The Simpsons. It was the first episode to air despite originally being the eighth episode produced for season one. It is the only full-length episode to air during the 1980s, having originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 17, 1989.

In the episode, Homer Simpson discovers that he will not be getting a Christmas bonus and thus his family has no money to buy Christmas presents after they had to waste money on getting his son Bart's tattoo removed. He decides to keep their financial troubles a secret and gets a job as a shopping mall Santa Claus, but later discovers that the job does not pay enough. Desperate for a miracle, Homer and Bart go to the dog-racing track on Christmas Eve in hopes of earning some money but end up adopting an abandoned greyhound, Santa's Little Helper.

The episode was written by Mimi Pond, and it was directed by David Silverman. "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" was nominated for two Emmy Awards in 1990, and has received positive reviews from television critics. It was viewed by approximately 13.4 million viewers in its original airing.

The show was originally intended to debut earlier in 1989 with "Some Enchanted Evening", but due to animation issues with that episode, the show debuted with this episode on December 17.

Some Enchanted Evening (The Simpsons)

"Some Enchanted Evening" is the thirteenth and final episode of The Simpsons' first season. It was originally broadcast on the Fox network in the United States on May 13, 1990. Written by Matt Groening and Sam Simon and directed by David Silverman and Kent Butterworth, "Some Enchanted Evening" was the first episode produced for season one and was intended to air as the series premiere in fall 1989, but aired as the season one finale due to animation issues. The Christmas special "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" premiered in its place on December 17, 1989. It is the last episode to feature the original opening sequence starting from "Bart the Genius". In the episode, Homer and Marge go on a night out while leaving the children under the care of a diabolical babysitter named Ms. Botz.

Penny Marshall provided the voice of Ms. Botz. The episode features cultural references to such films as The Night of the Hunter and Psycho as well as a musical reference to A Star Is Born. Since its initial broadcast, the episode has received mixed reviews from television critics. It acquired a Nielsen rating of 15.4, and was the highest-rated show on the Fox network the week it aired.

The Call of the Simpsons

"The Call of the Simpsons" is the seventh episode of The Simpsons' first season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 18, 1990. It was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Wesley Archer. Albert Brooks made his first guest appearance on The Simpsons in this episode as the voice of Cowboy Bob.In this episode, Homer decides to purchase an RV and the Simpsons set off for a vacation in the wilderness. After accidentally driving it off the edge of a cliff, the family find themselves trapped in the woods. As Homer and Bart try to find a way back to civilization, Homer gets himself covered in mud and is mistaken for Bigfoot by a naturalist. The news about the encounter spreads quickly and Bigfoot hunters converge on the woods to capture Homer. Meanwhile, Maggie finds herself separated from the family and is cared for by bears.

The Crepes of Wrath

"The Crepes of Wrath" is the eleventh episode of The Simpsons' first season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 15, 1990. The episode was written by George Meyer, Sam Simon, John Swartzwelder and Jon Vitti, and was directed by Wes Archer and Milton Gray. In the episode, Bart is sent to France on a student exchange trip, where his hosts treat him as a slave. Meanwhile, an Albanian student takes Bart's place in the Simpsons family, and shows great interest in Homer's work at the nuclear power plant.

The episode received generally positive reviews from critics, and in 1997, David Bauder from TV Guide named this episode the greatest episode of The Simpsons, and the 17th greatest episode of any television show of all time.

The Simpsons (franchise)

The Simpsons is an American animated comedy franchise whose eponymous family consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The Simpsons were created by cartoonist Matt Groening for a series of animated shorts that debuted on The Tracey Ullman Show on Fox on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into The Simpsons, a half-hour prime time show that was an early hit for Fox, becoming the first Fox series to land in the Top 30 ratings in a season (1989–1990). The popularity of The Simpsons has made it a billion-dollar merchandising and media franchise. Alongside the television series, the characters of the show have been featured in a variety of media, including books, comic books, a magazine, musical releases and video games.

The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in 2007 and was the eighth highest-grossing film of that year. A variety of merchandise, including T-shirts, DVDs, board games and action figures has been released. The Simpsons merchandise has sold well, generating $2 billion in revenue during the first 14 months of sales. In 2003, about 500 companies around the world were licensed to use The Simpsons characters in their advertising. In 2008, $750 million worth of The Simpsons merchandise was purchased worldwide. Peter Byrne, Fox executive vice-president of licensing and merchandising, called The Simpsons "without doubt the biggest licensing entity that Fox has had, full stop, I would say from either TV or film."

The Simpsons shorts

The Simpsons shorts are a series of animated shorts that aired as a recurring segment on Fox variety television series The Tracey Ullman Show for three seasons, before the characters spun off into The Simpsons, their own half-hour prime-time show. It features Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The series was created by Matt Groening, who designed the Simpson family and wrote many of the shorts. The shorts first aired on April 19, 1987 starting with "Good Night". The final short to air was "TV Simpsons", originally airing on May 14, 1989. The Simpsons later debuted on December 17, 1989, as an independent series with the Christmas special "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire".One marketing study found that only 14 percent of Americans were familiar with the shorts, compared to 85 percent in November 1990 who were familiar with the Simpsons family, 11 months after the full-length show began airing.Only a few of these shorts have been released on DVD. "Good Night" was included on The Simpsons Season 1 DVD. Five of these shorts were later used in the clip-show episode "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular" on the half-hour show, which was released on the Season 7 DVD. These five shorts were "Good Night", which was featured in its entirety, and portions of "The Perfect Crime", "Space Patrol", "World War III", and "Bathtime". In "You Kent Always Say What You Want", the short "Family Portrait" replaces the entire opening sequence in celebration of the 400th episode. In June 2013, it was reported that FXX is trying to acquire the shorts for an October Simpsons app, "Simpsons World".The version of the Simpson family from the shorts was depicted as ghosts haunting the Simpsons house in the season twenty six episode "Treehouse of Horror XXV".

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.

There's No Disgrace Like Home

"There's No Disgrace Like Home" is the fourth episode of The Simpsons' first season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 28, 1990. In the episode, Homer becomes ashamed of his family after a catastrophic company picnic and decides to enroll them in therapy. The therapist, Dr. Marvin Monroe, struggles to solve their problems − culminating in a shock therapy-based showdown between the family members − before eventually giving up and refunding their payment.

One of the first-produced episodes of the season, it is known for showcasing early designs and different characterizations for several members of the show's cast. The episode is inspired by the comedy of Laurel and Hardy and features cultural references to films such as Citizen Kane and Freaks as well as the Batman and Twilight Zone television series. In November 1996, The BBC chose it as the first episode to be aired, when they started showing the series, later being beat in the ratings by Sabrina.

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