Posted by Kit Simpson Browne @Kitsb
Staff Writer, Superheroes, Star Wars and such. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

Now, 2016 has thus far brought about a mixed bag of news for fans of #TheSimpsons, with the arrival of the show's 600th episode being largely overshadowed by the tragic loss of long-time writer and producer Kevin Curran to a lengthily fought battle with cancer. That heady mix of achievement and loss, though, doesn't seem to have stopped the show from forging ahead with yet more grand accomplishments.

Y'see, a few days ago, #Fox announced that it would be renewing the show for two more seasons, its 29th and 30th, taking the total number of episodes up to a whopping great 669. Which, as it turns out, means that...

The Simpsons Is About To Break Yet Another Huge Record

[The Simpsons/Fox]
[The Simpsons/Fox]

Specifically, when episode 636 of the show airs next season, The Simpsons will officially become the longest running scripted prime-time #TV show (by episode count) in American history, overtaking the legendary Gunsmoke, which ran on CBS from 1955 to 1975, accruing a total of 635 episodes as it did so.

Come the 2017/18 season, though, The Simpsons is now set to run the iconic likes of Marshal Matt Dillon and "Doc" Adams out of town, and gleefully clutch Gunsmoke's long-standing record in its yellow, four-fingered hands. Which, since The Simpsons is a strong contender for "greatest TV show of all time," especially if you only consider, say, Seasons 4–8, isn't quite the bittersweet tale it might otherwise have been.

[The Simpsons/Fox]
[The Simpsons/Fox]

What's more, the show can add that particular record to its already well-stocked (albeit largely metaphorical) cabinet of length-related achievements, including becoming the longest running prime-time animated series in US history (back in 1997), the longest running sitcom of any kind (in 2004) and indeed the longest running show by years on the air, a title it took from none other than Gunsmoke back in 2009.

All of which doesn't, of course, mean that the show is suddenly going to revert to the sheer creative brilliance of its early years, but it sure is nice to see as near-universally beloved a show as The Simpsons taking hold of such a lofty record, all the same. As Milhouse would no doubt remind us, this is what it feels like when doves cry:

What do you think, though? Does The Simpsons deserve the record for longest running show, or should another show have made it this far? Let us know below!

[The Independent]