D’oh! How The Simpsons has declined in popularity since 1989
The Simpsons is a staple for television watchers the world over. It broke new ground when first aired all the way back in 1989, however new data suggests its popularity has been in decline for the last 10 years.
ABC.net.au looked at IMDB data for the longest running animated show in television history and discovered its popularity started to wane around season 10.
IMDB has given the 29th season of the show an average rating of just 6.6, while earlier seasons, like season 4, maintain an average rating of 8.4.
All of this leads us to the question: should the show still be running?
As numerous greats will testify to, it’s often better to get out while you’re on top.
Even Homer, who, over the course of 29 seasons, has completed the remarkable feats of flying into outer space, fighting the world heavyweight champion and bowling a perfect game, would probably admit the data paints a rather depressing picture.
Then again, we also know he’s somewhat disdainful towards statistics.
We’ve also reached a point in time where episodes of The Simpsons are increasingly predicting future events (which perhaps shouldn’t be unexpected considering the show has delivered 637 episodes).
In one episode, Lady Doris, the Springfield Elementary lunch lady, was shown stuffing horse meat into school meals. In 2013, it was discovered a number of products marketed as containing beef in the UK actually contained horse meat; at the time, the revelation dominated news headlines for weeks.
Furthermore, in the episode “Bart to the Future,” Bart sees a future USA led by President Donald Trump. Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons, still believed pre-2016 that the prediction was too outlandish to come true.
Fox renewed The Simpsons back in November 2016 for its 29th and 30th seasons.
Meanwhile, Fox TV Chairman Dana Walden told IGN back in August, 2017, “I never want to be [at Fox] without The Simpsons. Jim [Brooks] and Matt [Groening] have so much excitement and enthusiasm and they keep innovating”.
Despite the show’s declining popularity, it appears it isn’t leaving TV screens anytime soon.