One of the classic Simpsons episodes was “The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase” which spoofed the idea of giving supporting characters their own shows. In a conference call today, Simpsons show runner Al Jean revealed that there were talks of real Simpsons spinoffs that never came to be. Jean was promoting this Sunday’s new episode and we’ll bring you the news about “Caper Chase” later this week.
“There were two,” Jean said. “There was a Krusty show they were talking about doing live in the ‘90s.”
A live action Krusty the Clown show? Voice actor Dan Castellaneta would have reprised the role. “It was going to be Dan,” Jean said. “There were talks to do a live pilot and have Dan playing Krusty. The problem with that was it would’ve cost $10 million an episode to replicated what we do. It was never filmed. It was just discussed.”
Simpsons creator Matt Groening once suggested an animated spinoff too. “Matt had talked about doing a spinoff of the non Simpsons [family] characters,” Jean said. “I think it’s a good thing that the non Simpsons spinoffs didn’t occur. I think that might have diluted the show. It was a good idea but one key to our longevity is that we were the one source of Simpsons that you have. I’m glad that we’ve run this long and I don’t know i you could’ve run this long splitting up.”
Which characters could have had their own Cleveland Show? “It would be like Moe, Mr. Burns, where the Simpsons were either background characters or not seen,” Jean said. “It was about halfway through the run of the show so it made sense at the time, but it didn’t come to be for whatever reason.”
“Chief Wiggum, P.I.” and “The Love-Matic Grandpa” might have become a reality. “I think it was inspired by that a little bit but it was talked about after that [episode],” Jean said.
The Simpsons is currently approaching 30 seasons with no signs of stopping. “I’ve made so many erroneous guesses that I don’t guess anymore,” Jean said. “I know we’ll go through 30 but I wouldn’t say that’s the end. Nobody’s told me to write a last episode or to shut it down. As long as the cast is willing and the economics work, which I think FXX helps, it’ll go on. Families like The Simpsons have problems which is unfortunately not going to stop.”
More on this Sunday’s new episode of The Simpsons this week on We Live Entertainment.