Some milestones can't help but make a longtime TV viewer feel a bit long in the tooth. Such is the case this Sunday, as Fox's The Simpsons marks a full quarter-century of spooky satire with its 25th annual "Treehouse of Horror" Halloween trilogy (8/7c), which strikes a nostalgic chord from its opening fanfare, echoing the classic (and still-missed) theme from Johnny Carson's Tonight Show — with a macabre twist, naturally.
Ron Swanson, the gruff character Nick Offerman plays on Parks and Recreation, would admire the actor's work ethic. Sitcoms and woodworking aside, Offerman has recently become an in-demand voice actor, voicing the title character on Fox's Axe Cop and also lending his skills to Disney XD's Gravity Falls and this year's box office smash The LEGO Movie.
Amid slumping ratings, Fox is pulling its experimental reality show Utopia from Tuesdaynights. Utopia will continue to air on Fridays at 8/7c.
You really can't let it go.
Once Upon a Time's Frozen-fied Season 4 returned to 9.4 million viewers and a 3.4 in the adults 18-to-49 demographic Sunday, up ...
It was a big night for The Simpsons, which featured both a major death and a buzzed about opening couch gag.
The Season 26 premiere kicked off with Homer in front of the TV furiously tapping the remote before the date scrolled to the past and then future and he turned into a floating tentacle head. Bart and Lisa, both of whom also transformed into bizarre shapes, then appeared on screen as a robot-sounding Lisa yelled, "I am Simpson" followed by Bart adding, "Don't have cow man." What followed was a weird mash-up of shapes and sounds and frankly, nothing that appeared to make sense.
Which character died on The Simpsons premiere?
Turns out, the opening was hand-drawn and animated by Oscar nominee and Indie filmmaker Don Hertzfeldt. Apparently, Hertzfeldt is a huge fan of the series:
Mort Pfefferman's entire life has been an identity crisis. A divorced dad of three grown, though not always grown-up, children, melancholy Mort is truly at ease only when in the heretofore secret guise of his feminine alter ego, Maura. In a flashback from 20 years earlier, Maura laments, "No one's ever seen me except me" — a situation that's about to change as the funky younger Pfeffermans slowly get to know the truth about their trans parent in Amazon's Transparent (get it?), creator Jill Soloway's deeply felt, intensely human comedy. This series (available on Amazon Instant Prime starting Friday) should do for Amazon, reputation-wise, what House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black achieved for Netflix. It's at least their equal, with the feel and tone of...
Stewie Griffin and Bart Simpson
The Parents Television Council is upset about a rape joke that appears in Sunday's upcoming Family Guy season premiere, in which the Griffin family visits Springfield and meets Homer and the rest of The Simpsons.
It's been more than 16 years since comedian Phil Hartman — star of Saturday Night Live,The Simpsons and NewsRadio — was shot to death in his bed by his wife Brynn, who later turned the gun on herself. His murder sent shockwaves through Hollywood, stunning both those who knew him personally and those who were only familiar with the characters he played on TV.
In the new biography You Might Remember Me: The Life and Times of Phil Hartman, author Mike Thomas delves into the life and death of Hartman, from his humble upbringing in Canada through (an exhaustive examination of) his final, fateful hours. The book also reveals the tumultuous nature of the Hartmans' marriage, offering details that seem chillingly ominous in retrospect.
Finally, we have an authoritative viewpoint on the issue of Scottish independence: from The Simpsons' Groundskeeper Willie.
Family Guy and The Simpsons Crossover Episode
D'oh...nuts! Homer Simpson and his clan make a guest appearance on the Sept. 28 season premiere of Family Guy (9/8c, Fox) when the Griffins visit Springfield.
Brats Bart and Stewie team up for trouble, Lisa teaches Meg how to play the sax, and Homer and Peter shoot the bull over brewskis. "We let [the Family Guy team] do their thing with the script," says The Simpsons executive producer Al Jean. "Both shows are all about satire. We weren't about to say, 'You can't make fun of us!'"