Updated to Include FXX’s press release:
¡AY, CARUMBA! FXX SCORES LANDMARK DEAL FOR THE SIMPSONS BEGINNING IN AUGUST 2014
BIDDING WAR RESULTS IN THE BIGGEST OFF-NETWORK DEAL IN TV HISTORY
FXX Becomes Exclusive Cable Home and FXNOW Becomes the Non-Linear Platform
to Longest-Running Comedy in TV History
Includes 24 Seasons (530 Episodes) Along With Subsequent Seasons Not In First-Run on FOX
LOS ANGELES, November 15, 2013 – After a vigorous bidding war which resulted in what is believed to be the biggest off-network deal ever, FXX has secured the exclusive cable, VOD and non-linear rights to The Simpsons, the longest-running, most successful comedy series in television history, it was announced today by John Landgraf, CEO, FX Networks and FX Productions and Chuck Saftler, President, Program Strategy, and COO, FX Networks.
The longest-running scripted show in television history, The Simpsons has remained one of the most groundbreaking and innovative entertainment franchises, recognizable throughout the world. Currently in production on its record-annihilating 25th season, The Simpsons has won 28 Emmy Awards, and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2012 for the theatrical short “The Longest Daycare.” It has been the subject of a hit feature film, created a revolutionary virtual coaster ride at Universal Studios, received a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame and has been honored with five U.S. postal stamps personally designed by creator Matt Groening. Named the “Best Show of the 20th Century” by Time magazine, The Simpsons was also named “Greatest American Sitcom” by Entertainment Weekly in 2013.
Beginning in August 2014, through its landmark deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television, FXX will become the cable network home for all seasons of The Simpsons, excluding seasons airing in their first run on FOX. FXNOW, the soon-to-be-launched mobile viewing app of FX Networks for its authenticated subscribers, will be the exclusive non-linear home for all seasons of The Simpsons, excluding seasons airing in their first run on FOX. FXX and FXNOW will get subsequent seasons of The Simpsons as new seasons begin their first run on FOX. For example, beginning in August 2014 FXX will have access to 24 seasons (530 episodes) of the series. Beginning in September of 2014, FXX will have access to the 25th season of The Simpsons, when season 26 debuts on FOX.
“The Simpsons is indisputably one of the greatest shows in television history,” said Landgraf. “We are honored to have it associated with FX Networks and FXX. This was a very long, hard and complicated negotiation and I credit the relentlessness and diligence of Chuck Saftler for getting it done. I also want to thank Gary Newman and Dana Walden at TCFTV, and Greg Meidel and Steve MacDonald at Twentieth Television. Most important of all, I want to thank Jim Brooks, Matt Groening and Al Jean and everyone at Gracie Films for this new partnership.”
Saftler said, “Woo Hoo! The Simpsons is the crown jewel of television and the longest-running, most successful comedy series in television history, which is testament to the amazing talents of Jim Brooks, Matt Groening, Al Jean, and the Gracie Films team. This is a historic deal for FXX and FX Networks and I don’t believe there will ever be another one like it.” Saftler negotiated the deal for FXX and FX Networks along with Chris Antola, Senior Vice President of Strategic Programming, FX Networks.
“The Simpsons long ago crossed over from ‘brilliant award-winning comedy series’ to ‘full-fledged cultural phenomenon,’ and this landmark deal is a testament to its enduring power and relevance,” remarked 20th Century Fox TV Chairmen and CEO’s Gary Newman and Dana Walden. “Matt, Jim and Al continue to deliver one of the most ingenious creations of the modern era, and we could not be more excited that the ever growing library of more than 500 episodes will now be available to FXX viewers. The passion for this property from John, Chuck and everyone at FX was overwhelming, and we are grateful to Greg, Steve and Lori Bernstein in constructing this complicated and groundbreaking deal.”
The Simpsons is a Gracie Films Production in association with 20th Century Fox Television. James L. Brooks, Matt Groening and Al Jean are the executive producers. Film Roman, a Starz Media Company, is the animation house.
FXX is the new basic cable entertainment network from FX Networks which launched on September 2, 2013. Geared toward a young adult audience, the schedule features original series, movies, and acquired series. The channel is anchored by the acclaimed hit comedies It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League, and Legit, and Ali G: Rezurection coming in February 2014, FXX is carried in more than 72 million homes. FXX and its sister channels FX and FXM comprise FX Networks, a business unit of 21 Century Fox.
FXX has paid 750 million dollars for syndication rights to The Simpsons. The extraordinarily popular series has never had a lucrative cable syndication deal before because when it launched in syndication back in the 1990s its deal limited it to local broadcast affiliates. That deal finally expired this fall and a bidding war commenced. The fledgling FXX was the winner. FXX will begin airing The Simpsons in August 2014. The deal also gives FXX VOD rights to the show and covers the first 24 seasons of the longrunning series.