Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Simpsons/Family Guy Crossover Got Made – But Can Their Fans Get Along for an Hour-Long Special?

After years of public squabbling among the creative teams, in-episode jabs and incalculable frat house arguments about which show is better – Fox has confirmed that The Simpsons and Family Guy will appear in an hour-long crossover this September.

According to Mashable, during the networks annual upfront presentation in New York City earlier this week, Fox’s Chairman of Entertainment Kevin Reilly confirmed the crossover and showcased a preview of the episode that featured both Homer and Peter getting into a good ol’ fashioned fist fight on Evergreen Terrace.

"Generations of fans will be talking about this one," Reilly said in New York City.

Aside from the fight - which we can only pray will approach the levels of sheer gratuitousness reached in Peter’s bouts with the Chicken that gave him a bad coupon - according to the synopsis, the episode will focus primarily on the two families making friends and playing nice.

Peter (Seth MacFarlane) and the Griffins get out of dodge and end up in Springfield, where they are greeted by a friendly stranger named Homer Simpson (guest voice Dan Castellaneta), who welcomes his new “albino” friends with open arms. The families get along famously: Stewie (MacFarlane) becomes obsessed with Bart (guest voice Nancy Cartwright) and his old-fashioned pranks; Lisa (guest voice Yeardley Smith) takes Meg (Mila Kunis) under her wing and is determined to find something – anything – at which she excels; Marge (guest voice Julie Kavner) and Lois (Alex Borstein) ditch housework for a little bonding; and Peter and Homer fight over the best beer in town – Pawtucket vs Duff.

Guess that leaves Brian to get a drink at Moe’s and get run over again by Mr. Burns.

My love for both programs aside, the sort of bonding session implied in this synopsis makes me think this special will either come across like an extremely tame episode of Family Guy or an extremely recent episode of The Simpsons that focuses heavily on its guest stars.  But with that said, I am sure that this will be a huge ratings win for the network and will feel a lot more special than your average season premiere.

All the material for a classic is certainly there and both programs have amazing track records when it comes to doing specials, as evidenced by everything from Family Guy’s Star Wars specials to The Simpson’s recent (and excellent) Lego episode. We will likely also get some good cutaways jokes too…

As you might expect, considering the differences of taste and form that exist between the two programs and their hardcore fan bases, so far reactions have ranged from the extremely excited to the apathetically uncertain.

Here’s looking forward to a summer filled with good conversation about the crossover that brings out interesting opinions from passionate fans of both programs. If there is a little negativity in the mix, well then I guess all these years of making jokes at one another's expense has finally caught up with the creative teams of both The Simpsons and Family Guy.


Along with the crossover special, Fox also showed off a new Simpsons app made with FX Networks that will allow fans to stream all 552 episodes of the show on their smartphones or tablets. The new app will be available in August, coinciding with The Simpsons' syndicated debut on FXX, FX's new comedy-centric spin-off network. To celebrate, the network will air all episodes consecutively in a 12-day marathon starting on August 21st and continuing into September 1st.

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