Garry Shandling

1986, TV Show

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The Simpsons' Executive Producer Al Jean Looks Back at 20 Years in Springfield

After 20 years and nearly 450 episodes, The Simpsons received a surprising distinction: an endorsement from the Vatican.

"I called my father — whose been going to Catholic Mass for 70 years — and I said, 'So it turns out I've been doing God's work all this time,'" laughs longtime executive producer Al Jean. (The official Vatican newspaper praised the show last month for its "realistic and intelligent writing.")

Even without the Roman Catholic Church's approval, the series has thrived. Playing in more than 90 countries, the longest-running prime-time scripted series will simultaneously celebrate its 20th anniversary and 450th episode Sunday. The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: In 3D! On Ice!, airing Sunday at 8:30/7:30c, will look back at both the show's humble origins and worldwide impact.

TVGuide.com talked with Jean — the series' current showrunner and a writer since Season 1 — about the show's anniversary, his favorite characters and guest stars.

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The Simpsons' Executive Producer Al Jean Looks Back at 20 Years in Springfield

After 20 years and nearly 450 episodes, The Simpsons received a surprising distinction: an endorsement from the Vatican.

"I called my father — whose been going to Catholic Mass for 70 years — and I said, 'So it turns out I've been doing God's work all this time,'" laughs longtime executive producer Al Jean. (The official Vatican newspaper praised the show last month for its "realistic and intelligent writing.")

Even without the Roman Catholic Church's approval, the series has thrived. Playing in more than 90 countries, the longest-running prime-time scripted series will simultaneously celebrate its 20th anniversary and 450th episode Sunday. The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: In 3D! On Ice!, airing Sunday at 8:30/7:30c, will look back at both the show's humble origins and worldwide impact.

TVGuide.com talked with Jean — the series' current showrunner and a writer since Season 1 — about the show's anniversary, his favorite characters and guest stars.

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It's Garry Shandling's Show Complete Series Release Date Announced

New releases announced June 26:

It's Garry Shandling's Show - The Complete Series will be coming out October 20

Visit TVShowsOnDVD.com for the complete stories on these and other news items. read more

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Premiered: September 01, 1986, on Showtime
Rating: None
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Premise: Before spoofing late-night TV as Larry Sanders, the wry Shandling took aim at sitcom conventions. This was a hip and wonderfully silly cable comedy in which, from time to time, Shandling spoke directly to the camera---a stylistic throwback to the classic `Burns and Allen Show'---from a set that was a replica of his real-life Sherman Oaks home. Reruns of the series became part of the fledgling Fox Sunday-night lineup in 1988 and stopped airing in early 1990.

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Charlie Rose with Garry Shandling (November 16, 1998)
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It's Garry Shandling's Show: The Complete Series
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