Updated: FXX Acquires Syndicated Episodes of 'The Simpsons'

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November 15th, 2013

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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.

 

ABOUT FXX

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.

 
  • Ultima

    @Alice
    You’d think FXX would worry about actually getting their network into some homes before shelling out 3/4 of a billion dollars on rerun accusations.

    Twenty years ago, you probably would have said…

    You’d think FOX would worry about actually getting their network into some homes before shelling out 1.6 billion dollars on the NFL.

  • JW

    21st Century Fox owns both “The Simpsons” and FXX, so they’re really paying themselves. Does the amount really matter?

  • Chris L

    The amount matters to the creators and voice talent.

  • Ricardo

    But I thought The Simpsons couldn’t be syndicated on cable until it was canceled because of some old contract or something.

  • Nate

    @Chris L, the voice talent doesn’t get any of the syndication money. Every time their contract is up the voice talent and Fox get in a fight over their salary and the voice talent offers to take a smaller upfront amount in exchange for syndication money, but Fox has never agreed.

  • Ultima

    @JW
    21st Century Fox owns both “The Simpsons” and FXX, so they’re really paying themselves. Does the amount really matter?

    Yes, they had to outbid other cable networks. At $750 million, they obviously thought it was worth it to keep it as part of 21st Century Fox, but had (for example) Turner bid $1 billion, maybe it’s worth it to just take that deal and forgo the advertising revenue (and carriage fees, etc.).

    Also, the people involved with the show are getting paid based on the sale price, so it’s obviously very important to them.

    By the way, Time Warner sold The Big Bang Theory Theory to itself, so this is nothing new.

  • Flame

    Since FXX is part of the Fox Entertainment Group, does this mean they basically sold the series to themselves?

  • romo

    This show has sucked for years.

    They only get a rating when they follow football.

  • Adam

    @Ricardo

    How about reading the article and then asking questions if you don’t see your answer.

    From the very last paragraph.

    “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.”

  • william

    i honestly don’t give a d*mn if they don’t show episodes from the first 10yrs.

  • Alice

    @ultima you make a totally reasonable point as far as this deal goes. However they slaughtered Sunny and League because they moved established first run shows to a network many, many, people don’t get. That’s where my bitterness comes from. They might as well have sold those shows to The Pirate Bay directly.

  • DSC

    this makes that little dispute they had on their last contract negotiation seem laughable. Obviously the show is still pretty lucrative. not bad for some of the talk that went on 2 years ago about “this probably being their last negotiation” and all that nonsense.

  • Adam

    @Alice

    that’s because they’re trying to establish a new network. They wants FX and FXX to be their TNT and TBS. Also understand that FOX doesn’t get a say in where FXX is on your programming, that is strictly up to the cable/satellite provider.

  • steven

    I heard a couple of years ago that FOX was considering creating an All-Simpsons channel. Whatever happened to that?

  • Dillan

    FOX TV could easily command $2.5M per episode, so the fact they settled for half that indicates wider 21st Century Fox meddling to help kickstart FXX.

  • Dan

    The Simpsons would probably do better and help out that new network in syndication. Now that new network has to find ways to reach more households by the time Simpsons actually begins airing, next year.

    I think its better to keep it in the family. For a 25 year old show going into syndication for the first time ever, its better for FOX to air on their own owned FXX then TNT, even if TNT paid more money.

  • Oliver

    And this explains the existence of FXX…

    Suspect this was always the plan.

  • Fed Fan

    “The longest-running scripted show in television history, The Simpsons”

    They should have said “in primetime tv history”. And even then Monday Night Raw which is also scripted has more episodes.

  • HalCapone

    I agree the announcement about The Simpsons/FXX deal really didn’t clarify what happens to all The Simpsons reruns that have been running since the early 1990’s ad nauseam on so many local stations across the country. It is my understanding the syndication rights still stand for any local stations willing to purchase The Simpsons. I have no clue how or if this FXX deal will affect the syndication price (up or down). The Simpsons have been on television forever and like Friends used to be, it’s hard to surf local channels without hitting one or more Simpsons episodes. The FXX deal represents the first exclusive cable channel deal for The Simpsons. FXX has been struggling ever since its spin off from FX. While I imagine The Simpsons might return okay ratings, I don’t think this will be a huge money maker for FXX due to Simpson over-exposure in syndication. Probably would have done better ratings-wise on Adult Swim which is nearly all animated programs vs FXX which is mostly live action scripted.

  • Davie

    @Oliver

    Why not just air The Simpsons on FX if that were the case. But in 5 years FXX will probably only be known as that Simpsons channel

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