Fans get taste of “The Simpsons” movie

March 31, 2006

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – To learn some long-awaited news
about “The Simpsons,” television’s most popular cartoon family,
fans had to go to the movies on Friday.

Film studio 20th Century Fox released a 25-second
promotional trailer at showings of its new computer-animated
movie “Ice Age: The Meltdown” to announce the first big-screen
version of “The Simpsons” would be coming to theaters on July
27, 2007.

The trailer begins with a giant superhero-sized letter “S”
while an announcer declares, “Leaping his way onto the silver
screen … the greatest hero in American history!”

The scene cuts to Homer Simpson sitting on his couch in his
underwear, saying, “I forgot what I was supposed to say.”

Now in its 17th season, “The Simpsons” is the
longest-running U.S. comedy series in prime time.

Beginning as a string of cartoon shorts on “The Tracey
Ullman Show” in 1987, “The Simpsons” made their debut as a
half-hour series on the then-fledgling Fox network in December

At the outset, the series centered on the antics of the
wisecracking, underachieving 10-year-old Bart Simpson, a
spiky-haired misfit who darts around town on his skateboard and
drives his fourth-grade teacher nuts.

But as the show evolved, the focus shifted to Bart’s
bone-headed father, Homer, who works at a nuclear power plant
and punctuates his frequent mistakes with the anguished,
half-syllable utterance “D’Oh!”

Rounding out the Simpsons brood are beehive-haired mother
Marge, the sensible, good-natured anchor of the family, and
Bart’s two sisters — pacifier-sucking baby Maggie, a silent
observer of all, and second-grade prodigy Lisa, a baritone
saxophone virtuoso and intellectual of the family.

Behind them is a huge cast of regulars who populate the
fictional town of Springfield — extended family members,
neighbors, teachers, classmates, Homer’s co-workers, his pals
at Moe’s Tavern, Apu the Kwik-E-Mart clerk, police chief Wiggum
and even the Comic Book Guy.

The series averages 9.6 million viewers a week on Sunday
nights, down from its peak ratings several years ago, but
remains a critical favorite and worldwide pop culture
phenomenon seen in dozens of countries.

It also is a cash cow for 20th Century Fox TV for the
handsome revenues it generates in syndication.


Source: reuters

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