The Simpsons will remain on Fox until 2021, but with the recent Fox-Disney merger some fans are worried new episodes might end up watered down to appease a Disney audience. According to one of the show’s stars, this won’t be the case.
Yeardley Smith, who for the past 30 years has voiced Lisa on The Simpsons, has said that she’s not worried about the future of TV’s longest-running series, even with Disney at the helm.
“When you’re dealing with something that is still so culturally relevant, and sort of such a pillar of our culture, if you’re going to mess with that, that’s some pretty risky territory,” Smith told The Hollywood Reporter, answering questions on what she thinks will happen to the show’s creative output. “So my feeling is — and I could be completely wrong — is that they would cancel it before they would change it.”
Signing a two-year renewal in February, while The Simpsons will remain on Fox there is speculation that it will eventually migrate to Disney-owned ABC, or even another network, following the recent Fox-Disney merger. If that does happen, the question will be: where will its 700-plus episodes live?
“When you are building a silo, you need content,” Smith said, pointing out how the show’s extensive library could be key as Disney builds its slate for new streaming service Disney+. “Even though we have 700 episodes, when we have a marathon and you can devour that in 14 days, dude, you better keep making those episodes. For us, I think it’s very, very good as long as the writers and executive producers still want to keep making the show. I’m optimistic.”
Also commenting on her character Lisa, Smith added: “She’s one of the best characters of all time — compassionate, empathic, genuinely curious about people — who are you, what is your experience, how can I know you? I do think that curiosity keeps your mind open, and as soon as you lose that curiosity, all is lost. Despite the fact that the writers in every episode give her something and then take it away, that girl has more resilience than anyone I know.”
Meanwhile, after being the voice of Bart for 30 years, Nancy Cartwright has finally written her first script for an episode of The Simpsons.
Entitled Girl’s in the Band, Cartwright’s episode will be the 19th in the current 30th season and will focus on Lisa rather than Bart in a storyline based on her own childhood.