The Simpsons (season 23)

The Simpsons' twenty-third season began airing on Fox on September 25, 2011, and ended May 20, 2012.[1] 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.[2]

The Simpsons (season 23)
The Simpsons–S23
Digital purchase image
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes22
Release
Original networkFox
Original releaseSeptember 25, 2011 –
May 20, 2012
Season chronology

Episodes

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
4871"The Falcon and the D'ohman"
Matthew NastukJustin HurwitzSeptember 25, 2011NABF168.08[3]
Homer befriends the nuclear plant's newest hire – a security guard with ties to the CIA and a painful backstory involving the Ukrainian Mafia. Meanwhile, Marge dreams of appearing on Top Chef and the results to the "Will Ned Flanders and Edna Krabappel Stay Together" contests are revealed.
Guest Stars: Tom Colicchio, Kevin Michael Richardson and Kiefer Sutherland
4882"Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts"
Steven Dean MooreTim LongOctober 2, 2011NABF176.19[4]
Principal Skinner challenges super intendant Chalmers to get Bart to be excited about learning something (anything) after Bart's latest pranks -- and finds it in the form of teaching Bart about the life and times of Theodore Roosevelt. However, when Chalmers's unorthodox teaching methods get him fired, it is up to Bart and the rest of the students who have been motivated by Chalmers to reinstate him.
Guest stars: John Kricfalusi (credited for animating this episode's couch gag) and Theodore Roosevelt (through archival footage and audio recordings)
4893"Treehouse of Horror XXII"Matthew FaughnanCarolyn OmineOctober 30, 2011NABF198.10[5]
In this year's introduction, Homer gets his arm pinned under a boulder, makes a 911 call to someone who's been in a similar scenario, and must gnaw his way to freedom. In "The Diving Bell and the Butterball," Homer is put in a coma by a black widow spider bite and finds a new, smelly way to communicate. Next, Flanders gets a call from God to rid the world of sinners by murdering them in '"Dial D for Diddly." Finally, Bart and Milhouse must infiltrate an alien planet by posing as the natives in the Avatar parody, "In the Na'vi."
Guest Stars: Jackie Mason and Aron Ralston
4904"Replaceable You"
Mark KirklandStephanie GillisNovember 6, 2011NABF217.97[6]
Homer gets a new assistant named Roz who is secretly out to steal his job. Meanwhile, Bart and Martin create a robot seal that becomes a hit with the elderly crowd at the Springfield Retirement Center.
Guest Star: Jane Lynch
4915"The Food Wife"
Timothy BaileyMatt SelmanNovember 13, 2011NABF207.50[7]
Tired of doing "mom" things and being much less fun for the guys than Homer, Marge takes the guys out to an Ethiopian restaurant and enjoys the food so much that she starts a food blog with Sideshow Mel and Krusty, which hurts Homer's feelings -- and may do more than hurt him when Marge tricks Homer into thinking a rundown building housing a meth lab is a hip, new restaurant.
Guest Stars: Gordon Ramsay, Mario Batali, Anthony Bourdain, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim
4926"The Book Job"
Bob AndersonDan VebberNovember 20, 2011NABF225.77[8]
When Lisa discovers that her favorite book series (the Angelica Muntz fantasy series as mentioned in "The Odd Couple") is ghost-written by a group of publishers (with an actress as the "author"), Homer and Bart are inspired to do the same by getting a group of people to write a fantasy novel about ghouls in a prestigious academy -- but when an actual publisher plots to turn it into yet another vampire fiction book for tweens, Lisa, Bart, and Homer must save their original work from getting destroyed.
Guest Stars: Andy García and Neil Gaiman
4937"The Man in the Blue Flannel Pants"
Steven Dean MooreJeff WestbrookNovember 27, 2011PABF015.61[9]
Homer becomes Mr. Burns' accountant executive after a successful launch party for Absolut Krusty, becoming a good job for him. Robert Marlow (guest voice John Slattery), a seasoned account veteran, takes Homer under his wing and shows Homer what the high life is like in the corner office, and when Homer's long hours at the office become the norm, a family vacation with Marge and the kids help him realize that family always comes before work. Meanwhile, Lisa gets Bart interested in classic literature by reading him Little Women.
Guest Stars: Kevin Michael Richardson, John Slattery and Matthew Weiner
4948"The Ten-Per-Cent Solution"
Michael PolcinoDeb Lacusta & Dan CastellanetaDecember 4, 2011PABF029.01[10]
When Krusty the Clown's show gets canceled (yet again), Krusty reunites with his original agent and bitter former lover Annie Dubinsky, who gets him a gig on cable television. But when Krusty's retro comedy show reboot is deemed a critical success, Krusty must decide to stay with his agent or side with the network executives.
Guest Stars: Kevin Dillon, Janeane Garofalo, Jackie Mason and Joan Rivers
4959"Holidays of Future Passed"
Rob OliverJ. Stewart BurnsDecember 11, 2011NABF186.43[11]
The latest "look-into-the-future" episode sees Bart as a deadbeat dad living in Springfield Elementary (which is now an apartment complex instead of a school) and trying to be a good dad to the children he had with Jenda from "Future-Drama". Meanwhile, a pregnant, unwed Maggie (who is now a pop singing superstar) goes into labor while on her way to family dinner and Lisa tries to find a common bond with her rebellious teenage daughter, Zia.
49610"Politically Inept, with Homer Simpson"
Mark KirklandJohn FrinkJanuary 8, 2012PABF035.07[12]
Video footage of Homer ranting about being harassed by TSA agents and forced to sit on a grounded plane for seven hours (due to airport incompetence) goes viral and lands Homer on cable television as a political pundit with his own show. But when he stirs up mixed emotions with his planned endorsement of the next GOP Presidential candidate, Marge and Lisa worry that Homer's opinion and influence might be more powerful than he realizes.
Guest Stars: Ted Nugent and Dana Gould
49711"The D'oh-cial Network"
Chris ClementsJ. Stewart BurnsJanuary 15, 2012PABF0411.48[13]
Lisa wants more friends and starts her own social network website called SpringFace, but when it turns everyone into an online addict, Lisa begins to realize that adding thousands of friends online did not compare to having real friendships. Meanwhile, Patty and Selma compete against the Winklevoss twins for the 2012 Olympics.
Guest Stars: Armie Hammer, David Letterman
49812"Moe Goes from Rags to Riches"
Bob AndersonTim LongJanuary 29, 2012PABF055.12[14]
Moe's bar rag tells the story of how it went from being part of a medieval tapestry to being Moe's most used prop. Meanwhile, Milhouse's friendship with Bart is strained after he compares Milhouse to Moe's bar rag.
Guest Star: Jeremy Irons
49913"The Daughter Also Rises"
Chuck SheetzRob LaZebnikFebruary 12, 2012PABF064.26[15]
Lisa falls in love with Nick, an intellectual romantic, and starts a secret romance with him. Meanwhile, Bart and Milhouse team up with the gang from MythCrackers to debunk some urban schoolyard legends.
Guest Stars: Michael Cera, Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage
50014"At Long Last Leave"
Matthew NastukMichael PriceFebruary 19, 2012PABF075.77[16]
In the 500th episode, the Simpsons stumble upon a secret town meeting where everyone is voting to throw them out of Springfield. As a result, they find themselves in an off-the-grid community, and when Homer and Marge try to sneak back into Springfield, they are welcomed with hostility from their former friends and neighbors and begin to appreciate their new and more accepting home.
Guest Stars: Julian Assange, Allison Krauss and Union Station, Kelsey Grammer and Jackie Mason
50115"Exit Through the Kwik-E-Mart"
Steven Dean MooreMarc WilmoreMarch 4, 2012PABF095.09[17]
After being forced to spend some time in a rabbit cage for a prank he didn't commit, Bart exacts revenge by spraypainting unflattering caricatures of Homer all over town, which become a sensation with real-life graffiti artists Shepard Fairey, Ron English, Kenny Scharf, and Robbie Conal. Meanwhile, Apu's Kwik-E-Mart is in danger of shutting down when it faces competition from a health-food supermarket.
Guest Stars: Shepard Fairey, Ron English, Kenny Scharf and Robbie Conal
50216"How I Wet Your Mother"
Lance KramerBilly Kimball & Ian Maxtone-GrahamMarch 11, 2012PABF084.97[18]
In this Simpsonized parody of Inception, Homer develops a bed-wetting problem, which he thinks is karmic payback for getting everyone in trouble for stealing office supplies at work, but a trip through Homer's dreams reveals that Homer's embarrassing problem is connected with a childhood memory involving a fishing trip gone wrong and Homer's deceased mother, Mona.
Guest Stars: Glenn Close and David Byrne
50317"Them, Robot"
Michael PolcinoMichael PriceMarch 18, 2012PABF105.25[19]
To get out of paying for employee drug tests, Mr. Burns fires all of his employees (except for Homer, who is kept on as a scapegoat) and replaces them with robot workers; when a bored Homer ups the robots interactive and AI features, all hell breaks loose.
Guest Star: Brent Spiner
50418"Beware My Cheating Bart"
Mark KirklandBen JosephApril 15, 2012PABF114.86[20]
Bart finds himself the object of affection to a girl who is dating school bully Jimbo Jones. Meanwhile, Homer buys a state-of-the-art treadmill that gets wireless TV and uses the treadmill to binge-watch a "Lost"-style show rather than exercise.
Guest Star: Kevin Michael Richardson with a special couch gag done by Bill Plympton
50519"A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again"
Chris ClementsMatt WarburtonApril 29, 2012PABF125.00[21]
To alleviate his boredom with life, Bart begs the family to go on a cruise trip, and the Simpsons sell their most prized possessions to pay for it. But when Bart realizes the trip only lasts a week and that his life will be nothing after that, he resorts to drastic measures to keep the vacation going.
Guest Star: Treat Williams and Steve Coogan
50620"The Spy Who Learned Me"
Bob AndersonMarc WilmoreMay 6, 2012PABF134.84[22]
After a disastrous date night at the movies, Homer suffers a head injury the next day at work and, during his eight weeks off to recover (about which he does not tell Marge), sees visions of a super-suave superspy named Stradivarius Cain, who gives Homer lessons on being the husband of Marge's dreams. Meanwhile, Nelson uses a Nokia Phone to shake down kids for their lunch money, and Bart gets revenge on Nelson by feeding him burger with patty cold, raw fries and hot cola which has poisoing.
Guest Stars: Bryan Cranston and Eric Idle
50721"Ned 'n' Edna's Blend Agenda"Chuck SheetzJeff WestbrookMay 13, 2012PABF154.07[23]
Ned Flanders and Edna Krabappel elope after months of dating, and Marge later organizes a proper marriage reception for them, which becomes a problem when the many couples of Springfield bring their many personal crises to the party. Meanwhile, Mrs. Krabappel-Flanders helps Rod and Todd make new friends.
50822"Lisa Goes Gaga"
Matthew SchofieldTim LongMay 20, 2012PABF144.82[24]
Eccentric pop star Lady Gaga stops by Springfield to help Lisa (who was voted Springfield Elementary's least hated popular student and is now more of an outcast thanks to ghost-writing positive messages on the school's online forum) and the rest of the town boost their self-esteem.
Guest Star: Lady Gaga

Production

The season premiere episode "The Falcon and the D'ohman" features a reference to the previous episode of the series, the twenty-second season finale "The Ned-Liest Catch" that aired May 22, 2011. In that episode, the characters Ned Flanders and Edna Krabappel started dating. The episode ends with Homer and Marge Simpson giving the viewers a link to the official The Simpsons website, TheSimpsons.com, and encouraging them to go on the website and vote over the summer of 2011 on whether Ned and Edna should stay together.[25] Executive producer Al Jean said in an interview that the writers decided it would not be interesting for them to do another episode where a relationship ended, and they thought it would be interesting "to see what people think, the Internet certainly has a lot of opinion on the show, might as well have them have their say".[26] When asked why the writers thought Ned and Edna were the right characters for a cliffhanger like this, Jean said that "In life, unusual things happen. People couple together in ways you would not expect, and he's single and she's single. We thought it would be funny, the fact that they both have these connections to the Simpsons but they never really met or if they have met it was minimal."[26] The result of the poll were revealed in "The Falcon and the D'ohman".[25] According to Jean, the poll was "very strong in one direction".[26] He assured in an interview before the result was presented that the poll was authentic and the writers would not undo the viewers' decision, and added that "What our fans have joined together, let no writer tear asunder."[26]

Cancellation threat

20th Century Fox Television released a statement on October 4, 2011, saying that "23 seasons in, The Simpsons is as creatively vibrant as ever and beloved by millions around the world. We believe this brilliant series can and should continue, but we cannot produce future seasons under its current financial model. We are hopeful that we can reach an agreement with the voice cast that allows The Simpsons to go on entertaining audiences with original episodes for many years to come."[27] One of the problems was that The Simpsons was possibly worth more cancelled than on the air. A 17-year-old syndication deal with local TV stations prohibits Fox from selling the show to cable networks. As long as The Simpsons still produces new episodes, Fox cannot break this deal. In the meantime, cable networks have grown to become just as big a market as the local TV stations.[28] Another consideration was that Fox's parent company News Corporation was having meetings discussing the possibility of a cable channel that would only air The Simpsons episodes.[29] Analysts consider a cancellation and subsequent second-run deal that includes cable networks to be worth $750 million.[28] On this issue, Al Jean commented in an interview with TV Guide that "It's a big company, and there are definitely people whose interests would have been better served by ending it. Those interests were superseded because we're still valuable to the network in terms of our ratings."[30]

For the negotiations, the studio requested that the cast members accept a 45% cut of their salaries so that more seasons could be produced after season 23, or else that season would be the series' last.[27] The actors were willing to take a pay cut, but wanted a percentage of the back-end payments instead.[31] At one point, Harry Shearer even offered a 70% pay cut in exchange for back-end percentages, but the studio was unwilling to make any deal involving back-end percentages.[32] In the end, the studio and the actors reached a deal, in which the actors would take a pay cut of 30%, down to just over $300,000 per episode, renewing the show to its 25th season.[33] As well as the voice actors, everybody involved in the show took a pay cut. This included the animators, writers, post-production crew and even Jean himself. The further use of digital animation also saved money, as the animation of the show became more efficient.[30]

Ratings

The season premiere episode "The Falcon and the D'ohman" originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 25, 2011.[34] It was watched by approximately 8.08 million people during this broadcast. It received a 3.9 Nielsen rating in the demographic for adults aged 18–49, and a ten percent share. The ratings were up three percent compared to the last season's premiere.[35] The Simpsons became the second highest-rated program in the 18–49 demographic in Fox's Animation Domination lineup that night, finishing before The Cleveland Show and American Dad! but after Family Guy. The Simpsons was, however, the most-watched show in the lineup in terms of total viewers.[36]

During the twenty-third season, the cost of a 30-second advertising spot would be $254,260 in an original broadcast. It is the fifth-most expensive show for advertisers on Fox, with only American Idol, The X Factor, Glee and Family Guy being more expensive.[37]

References

  1. ^ Seidman, Robert (June 23, 2011). "FOX Announces 2011 Fall TV Premiere Dates". TV By the Numbers. Retrieved June 23, 2011.
  2. ^ Goldman, Eric (May 24, 2011). "20th at Comic-Con: Terra Nova, Family Guy, Glee, Futurama, More – TV News at IGN". IGN. Retrieved June 18, 2011.
  3. ^ Gorman, Bill. "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Desperate Housewives,' 'CSI:Miami,' 'The Simpsons' Adjusted Up; '60 Minutes' Adjusted Down". Zap2it. TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  4. ^ Seidman, Robert. "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Desperate Housewives,' 'Pan Am' Adjusted Up + Unscrambled 'Amazing Race,' 'The Good Wife'". Zap2it. TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
  5. ^ Seidman, Robert (November 1, 2011). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Cleveland Show' Adjusted Up; 'Pan Am' Adjusted Down + Unscrambled CBS Shows & 'Sunday Night Football'". Zap2it. TV by the numbers. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  6. ^ Seidman, Robert. "TV Ratings Sunday: 'Once Upon a Time' Falls, But Not Far; Ravens-Steelers Dominates Night". Zap2it. TV by the Numbers.
  7. ^ Gorman, Bill (November 15, 2011). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'The Simpsons,' '60 Minutes' Adjusted Down + Final CBS & 'Sunday Night Football' Ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
  8. ^ Gorman, Bill (November 24, 2011). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'CSI:Miami,' 'Amazing Race,' 'Family Guy' Adjusted Up; '60 Minutes' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  9. ^ Seidman, Robert (November 29, 2011). "Sunday Final Ratings: Big Adjustment Up for 'Amazing Race'; No Adjustment for 'Once Upon a Time' + Steelers-Chiefs". TV by the Numbers. Zap2it. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  10. ^ Gorman, Bill. "TV Ratings Sunday: 'Simpsons,' 'Family Guy' Get A Boost; 'Once Upon A Time,' 'Housewives,' 'Pan Am,' 'Good Wife' Hit Lows; As Of Course 'Sunday Night Football' Wins". Zap2it. TV by the Numbers.
  11. ^ Seidman, Robert (December 13, 2011). "Sunday Final Ratings: No Adjustments for 'Once Upon A Time' + Giants/Cowboys & Unscrambled CBS". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
  12. ^ Seidman, Robert (January 10, 2012). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Cleveland,' 'Family Guy,' 'American Dad' Adjusted Up + Unscrambled 'The Good Wife,' 'CSI: Miami' & '60 Minutes'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 14, 2012.
  13. ^ Gorman, Bill. "Sunday Final Ratings: 'The Good Wife' Adjusted up; 'Pan Am' adjusted down + Giants/Packers, Unscrambled Fox". Retrieved January 20, 2012.
  14. ^ Gorman, Bill (January 31, 2012). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Once Upon A Time,' 'Family Guy,' 'CSI: Miami' Adjusted Up; NFL 'Pro Bowl' Down vs. Last Season". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
  15. ^ Gorman, Bill (February 14, 2012). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Napoleon Dynamite,' 'American Dad' Adjusted Up; '60 Minutes' Adjusted Down + 'Grammy Awards' Finals". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on February 18, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  16. ^ Bibel, Sara (February 22, 2012). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Once Upon a Time,' 'Family Guy' Adjusted Up + Unscrambled CBS". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
  17. ^ Bibel, Sara (March 6, 2012). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'The Good Wife,' 'CSI Miami' Adjusted Up + 'Cleveland' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  18. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (March 13, 2012). "Sunday Final Ratings: '60 Minutes', 'America's Funniest Home Videos', 'Once Upon a Time', 'The Amazing Race' & 'Desperate Housewives' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 13, 2012.
  19. ^ Bibel, Sara (March 20, 2012). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Harry's Law' Adjusted Down to Series Lows; 'Desperate Housewives' Adjusted Up + Unscrambled CBS". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  20. ^ Gorman, Bill. "TV Ratings Sunday: 'NYC 22' Starts Low, 'Titanic' Pulls 'GCB' To Series Low". Zap2it. TV by the Numbers.
  21. ^ Bibel, Sara. "TV Ratings Sunday: 'GCB' Rises & 'Once Upon a Time' Steady-ish; 'The Good Wife' Falls to Lows, 'NYC 22' Falls Too; 'Harry's Law' Steady". Zap2it. TV by the Numbers.
  22. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (May 8, 2012). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Simpsons', 'Amazing Race' Finale, 'Harry's Law' Adjusted Up; 'Desperate Housewives', 'NYC 22' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  23. ^ Bibel, Sarah (May 15, 2012). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Once Upon A Time', Family guy', 'Survivor' Adjusted Up; 'Survivor: Reunion', 'Dateline' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  24. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (May 22, 2012). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Family Guy' Adjusted Up; 'Bob's Burgers' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  25. ^ a b "'Simpsons' Fans Play Cupid For New Springfield Couple 'Nedna'". Access Hollywood. May 20, 2011. Retrieved September 9, 2011.
  26. ^ a b c d Fienberg, Daniel. "Watch: Al Jean talks Season 23 of 'The Simpsons'". HitFix. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
  27. ^ a b Snierson, Dan (October 4, 2011). "'Simpsons' studio says show cannot continue without cutting costs". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  28. ^ a b Lieberman, David (October 4, 2011). "Would 'The Simpsons' Be Worth More Dead Or Alive?". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
  29. ^ Allen, Nick (September 26, 2011). "Woo Hoo! The Simpsons could be given their very own TV channel". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
  30. ^ a b Schneider, Michael (October 11, 2011). "The Simpsons Executive Producer Al Jean on How the Show Was Saved". TV Guide. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
  31. ^ Molloy, Tim (October 6, 2011). ""Simpsons" deadline for voice actors looms". Reuters. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
  32. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 7, 2011). "'Simpsons' Co-Star Speaks Out On Contract Negotiation Stalemate". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
  33. ^ Block, Alex Ben (October 7, 2011). "'The Simpsons' Renewed for Two More Seasons". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
  34. ^ Porter, Rick (September 8, 2011). "'The Simpsons': Kiefer Sutherland, 'Top Chef's' Tom Colicchio get animated". Zap2it. Archived from the original on November 1, 2011. Retrieved September 9, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  35. ^ Gorman, Bill. "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Desperate Housewives,' 'CSI:Miami,' 'The Simpsons,' Adjusted Up; '60 Minutes' Adjusted Down". Zap2it. TV by the Numbers.
  36. ^ Gorman, Bill. "TV Ratings Sunday: Football Wins; 'Desperate Housewives' Premiere Plunges, 'Pan Am' Has Good Takeoff, CBS Premieres Indicate Down, Fox Mixed". Zap2it. TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 26, 2011.
  37. ^ Steinberg, Brian (October 24, 2011). "'American Idol,' NFL Duke it out for Priciest TV Spot". Advertising Age. Retrieved October 26, 2011.
Bibliography
A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again

"A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again" is the 19th episode of the 23rd season of the American animated television sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 29, 2012. In the episode, the Simpson family goes on cruise after being convinced by a bored Bart. He enjoys himself on the vacation until Rowan Priddis, the director of the cruise, performs a song called "Enjoy It While You Can" that makes him realize the cruise is soon to be over and he has to return to his boring life. Bart decides to trick the crew and the passengers on the ship that the world is coming to an end back on land because of a pandemic and that the ship therefore has to stay out at sea. He manages to do this with the help of a large television screen, on which he displays a scene from the film The Pandora Strain that features a general named William Sullivan warning humanity about a deadly virus.

Treat Williams guest starred in the episode as film character William Sullivan, while Steve Coogan made a guest appearance as the cruise director Rowan Priddis. "Enjoy It While You Can" was produced for the episode by Broadway composer Robert Lopez, who also co-wrote the song with the writers of The Simpsons. Other songs played in the episode include "Boy from School" by Hot Chip and "Winter's Love" by Animal Collective. Since airing, "A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again" has received generally positive reviews from television critics, being praised for showing an emotional side of Bart. Around five million viewers tuned in to watch the episode during its original US broadcast.

Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts

"Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts" is the second episode of the twenty-third season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 2, 2011. The episode was the first to feature Superintendent Chalmers as the central character and Chalmers' flashbacks references the films The Breakfast Club and Fight Club. In the episode, Principal Skinner challenges Superintendent Chalmers to take over Bart's education after one of his pranks. Chalmers accepts and starts teaching Bart about Theodore Roosevelt and manliness. After he takes Bart and his friends on an unauthorized field trip which results in one of the children breaking an arm, Chalmers is fired. Bart and his friends then take over the school in an effort to save his job.

The episode was written by Tim Long, directed by Steven Dean Moore, and features the voice of Theodore Roosevelt through archive recordings. The opening sequence was guest-directed by Canadian animator John Kricfalusi, who previously created the animated television show, The Ren & Stimpy Show. In its original American broadcast, it was viewed by approximately 6.19 million people. Since airing, the episode has received generally positive reviews from television critics, with the guest-directed opening sequence by Kricfalusi receiving the most praise.

Beware My Cheating Bart

"Beware My Cheating Bart" is the eighteenth episode of the twenty-third season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 15, 2012. The title refers to the song "Be Still My Beating Heart" by Sting.

Exit Through the Kwik-E-Mart

"Exit Through the Kwik-E-Mart" is the fifteenth episode of the twenty-third season of the American animated television sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 4, 2012. In the episode, Bart is punished by Homer after letting a rabbit loose in the house. He gets revenge on his father by spray-painting images of him with the word "dope" all over Springfield. Street artist Shepard Fairey encounters Bart one night and offers him a gallery show of Bart's artworks. However, Chief Wiggum suddenly appears during the show and arrests Bart for covering the town in graffiti. It turns out that Fairey is an undercover officer working for Wiggum.

The episode references the 2010 street art documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop by graffiti artist Banksy, and features guest appearances from street artists Ron English, Kenny Scharf, and Robbie Conal as themselves. Fairey, who is a long-time fan of The Simpsons, also guest starred in the episode as himself. Around 5.09 million Americans tuned in to watch "Exit Through the Kwik-E-Mart" during its original broadcast. Since then, the episode has received praise from television critics for its opening sequence, which parodies the opening sequence of the medieval fantasy television series Game of Thrones.

Holidays of Future Passed

"Holidays of Future Passed" is the ninth episode of the twenty-third season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 11, 2011. Most of the episode is set thirty years into the future, when Bart and Lisa take their children with them to Homer and Marge's house over Christmas, while a pregnant Maggie goes into labor. Bart has divorced his wife Jenda and is struggling to become a better father for his two boys, while Lisa has trouble connecting with her rebellious teenage daughter Zia. The Simpsons creator Matt Groening made a minor uncredited cameo appearance as a sports commentator shouting "goal!" during a soccer game.

Originally written as a potential series finale, the episode has received highly positive reception from television critics who often cited it as the best episode of the season. It has been particularly praised for its humor and for its emotional scenes, such as one where Bart and Lisa sit in their old treehouse and talk about how difficult parenting is. During the original broadcast, "Holidays of Future Passed" was watched by about 6.43 million people. Since then, it has garnered attention in the media for a segment taking place thirty years in the future in which it is implied that the city of Dearborn, Michigan is "still under sharia law". Commentators have had mixed opinions on what the segment is mocking, whether it is the increasing Islamic influence in the US, specifically in Dearborn, or rather those who are thinking that Dearborn is under sharia law in December 2011, the time that the episode aired.

How I Wet Your Mother

"How I Wet Your Mother" is the sixteenth episode of The Simpsons' twenty-third season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 11, 2012. In the episode, a traumatic incident causes Homer to repeatedly wet the bed. As it worsens, his family, with the help of Professor Frink, successfully manage to infiltrate his dreams to get to its subconscious source. The episode name is a pun on How I Met Your Mother.

The episode was co-written by Billy Kimball and Ian Maxtone-Graham and has received positive reviews from critics.

Lisa Goes Gaga

"Lisa Goes Gaga" is the twenty-second and final episode of the twenty-third season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 20, 2012. In the episode, American singer-songwriter Lady Gaga makes a visit to Springfield, where all of its residents are in a state of depression. Main character Lisa Simpson is arguably the most depressed person in the city, prompting Gaga to go out of her way to teach Lisa the meaning of happiness.

The episode was written by Tim Long and directed by Matthew Schofield. Gaga guest-starred in the episode, portraying an animated version of herself. A fan of the show, she was brought on by showrunner Al Jean, who wrote a script after James L. Brooks saw an interview of her on 60 Minutes. The design team conceived eighteen outfits to complement Gaga's eccentric persona, which satirized several of her outfits including her meat dress. Recording sessions for "Lisa Goes Gaga" took place in Los Angeles, California over four days in August 2011. Critical responses to the episode were mixed to negative; critics praised Lady Gaga's performance, while they looked down upon the episode's concept and general execution. According to the Nielsen ratings, the installment attained 4.79 million American viewers upon its original airing.

Moe Goes from Rags to Riches

"Moe Goes from Rags to Riches" is the twelfth episode of the twenty-third season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 29, 2012. In the episode, Moe Szyslak's old bar rag tells its history, from being a medieval French tapestry to ending up at Moe's bar. Meanwhile, Bart and Milhouse have an argument which prompts Milhouse to leave Bart. Jeremy Irons guest starred in the episode as the voice of Moe's bar rag.

Ned 'n' Edna's Blend Agenda

"Ned 'n' Edna's Blend Agenda" is the twenty first episode of the twenty-third season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 13, 2012. In the episode, Edna reveals that she and Ned are married and now having arguments, as Ned thinks Edna changed Rod and Todd's fashion. It features a claymation segment made by the Chiodo Brothers in the style of Davey and Goliath, depicting a premonitory nightmare that Ned Flanders has.

Politically Inept, with Homer Simpson

"Politically Inept, with Homer Simpson" is the tenth episode of the twenty-third season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. In the episode, Bart uploads a video on YouTube in which Homer rants about airlines' horrible treatment of passengers. It quickly becomes popular and Homer is eventually given his own political cable news show. Homer wins support among average Americans and is chosen by the Republicans to pick their candidate for the next presidential election. He chooses Ted Nugent, but in the end, he realizes that he made the wrong decision, so he admits on television that he is "full of crap".

American musician and conservative political activist Ted Nugent made his second guest appearance on The Simpsons in this episode, which makes fun of his views on hunting and gun ownership. The episode has received generally positive reception from television critics and has been particularly praised for its satire of politics and cable news commentators. During its original broadcast on the Fox network in the United States on January 8, 2012, "Politically Inept, with Homer Simpson" was watched by about 5.07 million people and received a 2.3 Nielsen rating.

Replaceable You

"Replaceable You" is the fourth episode of the twenty-third season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 6, 2011. In the episode, Homer gets a new assistant named Roz who is secretly out to steal his job. Meanwhile, Bart teams up with Martin Prince for the upcoming Springfield Elementary science fair, constructing robot baby seals that become popular with the senior citizens at the Springfield Retirement Castle. The role of Roz was played by American actress Jane Lynch. "Replaceable You" was seen by approximately eight million viewers during its original broadcast, and it has received mixed reviews from critics.

The D'oh-cial Network

"The D'oh-cial Network" is the eleventh episode of the twenty-third season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 15, 2012. In the episode, Lisa is sad that she has no real friends. She discovers that it is easier to make friends on the Internet and therefore creates a social networking website called SpringFace. It becomes incredibly popular in Springfield and Lisa gets many online friends. However, they still ignore her in real life, and the website starts to cause trouble in the town when people use it while driving and cause accidents. Lisa is put on trial and the court orders her to close down SpringFace.

The episode is a satire of the social networking website Facebook and parodies the film The Social Network, which tells the story of how Facebook was founded. The Winklevoss twins, who sued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for stealing their idea, are featured in the episode. Actor Armie Hammer portrayed the twins in both The Social Network and "The D'oh-cial Network". This episode also features a guest appearance by talk show host David Letterman as himself, appearing in the Simpsons opening sequence. Since airing, "The D'oh-cial Network" has received generally mixed response from television reviewers, with criticism directed at its satire. Around 11.48 million Americans tuned in to watch the episode during its original broadcast.

The Daughter Also Rises

"The Daughter Also Rises" is the thirteenth episode of the twenty-third season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 12, 2012. The episode parodies the MythBusters program in that Bart and Milhouse are inspired by a show called MythCrackers to debunk some urban schoolyard legends. The hosts of MythBusters, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, guest starred in the episode as themselves, while actor Michael Cera played Lisa's new love interest Nick. "The Daughter Also Rises" received a 2.0 Nielsen rating in the demographic for adults aged 18–49, and was viewed by around 4.26 million people. The reception from critics has been mixed to negative.

The Falcon and the D'ohman

"The Falcon and the D'ohman" is the season premiere of the twenty-third season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 25, 2011. In the episode, the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant hires a new security guard named Wayne and Homer soon becomes friends with him. "The Falcon and the D'ohman" also reveals the fate of the relationship between the characters Ned Flanders and Edna Krabappel that was initiated in the previous episode of the series, "The Ned-Liest Catch", that aired in May 2011.

Actor Kiefer Sutherland guest starred in the episode as the voice of Wayne. This was the third time he appeared on The Simpsons. The episode also features a guest appearance by American chef and Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio as himself in a segment in which Marge dreams about being a contestant in a show similar to Top Chef. "The Falcon and the D'ohman" has received mixed reviews from television critics, with criticism directed at the plot and the cultural references featured. However, a reference in the episode to the computer animated re-enactments of news stories done by the Taiwan-based Next Media Animation has been particularly praised.

The Man in the Blue Flannel Pants

"The Man in the Blue Flannel Pants" is the seventh episode of the twenty-third season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 27, 2011, and was seen by around 5.6 million people during this broadcast. In the episode, Homer becomes an account manager for Mr. Burns after successfully hosting a viral marketing event for Krusty the Clown. Meanwhile, Lisa is teaching Bart how to read classic novels like Little Women. Homer's new job affects his family as he becomes more distant and in the end he has to choose between his family or his new job. The episode's title references The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.

The episode was written by Jeff Westbrook and directed by Steven Dean Moore. It functions mainly as a parody of the television show Mad Men, and features the guest voices of Mad Men actor John Slattery and creator Matthew Weiner. Critics found the episode to be average in quality, receiving criticism for the wasted opportunities with the Mad Men parody.

The Spy Who Learned Me

"The Spy Who Learned Me" is the twentieth episode of the 23rd season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 6, 2012.

The Ten-Per-Cent Solution

"The Ten-Per-Cent Solution" is the eighth episode of the twenty-third season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 4, 2011. In the episode, Krusty the Clown becomes depressed after getting fired from his television show for being unpopular with children. The Simpson family encourages him to make a comeback, suggesting that he seek help from an agent they met earlier at a television museum. This agent turns out to be Annie Dubinsky, who was Krusty's first agent and former girlfriend. Krusty left her when he became successful but now he begs her to take him as a client again. She accepts and together they are able to get him back on television, hosting a show for adults that features his clown tricks. However, Annie soon begins to interfere too much, which frustrates the network executives.

The episode, which contains parodies of films such as The King's Speech, The Social Network, and Black Swan, was written by cast member Dan Castellaneta and his wife Deb Lacusta. Comedian and actress Joan Rivers, who was a big fan of The Simpsons, guest starred as the character Annie. Other guest performances in the episode came from Kevin Dillon and Janeane Garofalo as themselves and Jackie Mason as Krusty's father. Reception of "The Ten-Per-Cent Solution" from television critics has been mixed, with praise directed at Rivers' appearance and the development of Krusty's character. The episode was criticized by the Parents Television Council for containing sexual dialogue. During its original American broadcast, the episode was seen by approximately nine million people.

Them, Robot

"Them, Robot" is the seventeenth episode of the 23rd season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 18, 2012.

Treehouse of Horror XXII

"Treehouse of Horror XXII" is the third episode of the twenty-third season and the twenty-second Halloween episode of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 30, 2011. The episode is part of the Treehouse of Horror series, which is an episode divided into three separate stories and an opening that is a parody of scary or Halloween themed stories. This episode's stories were primarily spoofs of the French film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, the television series Dexter, and the American film Avatar. The opening was a parody of the autobiographical film 127 Hours, in which the subject Aron Ralston loses an arm.

The episode was written by Carolyn Omine, directed by Matthew Faughnan, and featured guest voices from Aron Ralston and Jackie Mason. In its original American broadcast, it was viewed by approximately 8.1 million people. The critical reception was very diverse, ranging from a plea to end the show to a statement that the show is on top of its game and should not be cancelled. The episode featured a reference to the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. After watching the show, the producers of the musical released a press statement in which they told how flattered they were when their show was mentioned on The Simpsons.

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