The Simpsons is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Network, becoming one of the first hits for the network, and is one of the most successful television shows ever produced.
The television series is a spin-off of a series of animated shorts originally aired on The Tracey Ullman Show. The series is a satirical parody of the “Middle American” lifestyle epitomized by its title family.
It lampoons many aspects of the human condition, as well as American culture, society as a whole and even television itself, being famous for its frequent use of self-referential humor, and meta-references. The Simpsons has also had a significant influence on post-Cold War popular culture. Many of its catchphrases have become famous, and the show has also been cited as an influence on many adult-oriented animated series in the late 1990s, such as South Park and Family Guy.
The Simpsons is the longest-running American sitcom, and the longest-running American animated program, to date. Since it debuted on December 17, 1989, the show has aired 381 episodes in eighteen seasons. As of March 20, 2006, the show has been renewed through its nineteenth season, which would air in 2007–2008.
The eighteenth-season finale will be the 400th episode, and the 20th anniversary of The Simpsons franchise will be celebrated in 2007. Although a number of fans accuse it of declining in quality, it has still remained a highly-rated show. A feature-length movie is now being produced, to be released on July 27, 2007.