Super Bowl XLIV is in the books, and while New Orleans’ come-from-behind triumph over Indianapolis was a thriller, Kim Kardashian’s team of choice was not the only winner on the evening. Indeed, the Super Bowl telecast featured more than 50 national advertisements — and at CBS’ premium prices for a 30-second spot, the need to get positive attention was more pronounced than you’d see in a week-long marathon of SuperNanny episodes. Some ads succeeded, some floundered, and some made us feel the burn of bile in our throats (combined with the distinctive flavor or cream-cheese-n-chili dip)…so without further ado, my picks for the five best and worst ads of the night. READ FULL STORY
Tag: The Simpsons (81-90 of 121)
CBS is banking on a post-Bowl slot to launch its new reality series Undercover Boss, the first new show to land the plum gig since since drama Extreme in 1995. Never heard of it? Join the club.
In the last few years, networks have used the slot to boost existing shows’ profiles: The Office, House, Criminal Minds, Grey’s Anatomy. It’s not a bad strategy — proven shows pull in big ratings. An hour-long Friends that aired after Super Bowl XXX was seen by more than 52 million people; around 45 million watched the season premiere of Survivor: The Australian Outback in 2001;and 38 million watched what was probably the best Grey’s Anatomy episode ever, which aired in 2006.
Once upon a time, though, the lead-out from the Super Bowl was total pilot territory: Airwolf, MacGruder and Loud, The Last Precinct, Hard Copy (not the tabloid news one, a scripted drama), Grand Slam, and Davis Rules all debuted in the slot but then met quick deaths. (Airwolf hung on for a little while but…yeesh.) It wasn’t all bad, though: The A-Team premiered after Super Bowl XVII and became a huge hit, as did The Wonder Years, whose debut followed XXII. Most surprisingly? Homicide: Life on the Street was a post-Super Bowl pilot, too. It’s tough to imagine that happening today, but 1993 was a strange time, I guess. Fox launched both Family Guy and American Dad in post-Super Bowl slots, too, but not directly after the game; a new Simpsons aired before the Seth MacFarlane shows.
I’m partial to existing shows getting the lead-out spot: It’s a chance for a series to do something wildly special or different or huge. What about you, PopWatchers? Do you want an existing favorite to get the megaspotlight, or do you crave the unknown?
In 2007, my friend and I took almost two hours worth of public transportation so we could go to a 7-11 in Maryland that had been transformed into a Kwik-E-Mart as part of a promotion for The Simpsons Movie. I bought $40 worth of Krusty-Os, Buzz Cola and Squishee cups (I refused to put actual drink into my glasses, for fear the sugar-laden beverage would compromise the quality of my cup).
I thought I was dedicated and have always considered my sister – who can recite any episode seasons 1-10 from memory – an even bigger fan. But deep down, I know we’re only the tip of The Simpsons superfan iceberg. I’m sure there are people out there who dream of yellow, four-fingered people, say ”okily-dokily” in 100 percent seriousness because it is second nature, and who believe no other cat name exists other than Snowball.
But this next week isn’t about how big of a fan you are (or once were), it’s about celebrating what The Simpsons is: The kinda inappropriate cartoon comedy that paved the way for totally inappropriate cartoon comedies. At the center of this time of reflection (and my Must List pick for the week): The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: In 3-D! On Ice! (airing Sunday on FOX). Super Size Me‘s Morgan Spurlock directed the documentary. I call BS for it not being in 3-D or on ice, but it will nonetheless be a fun watch.
What about you, PopWatchers? Are you as excited as me about The Simpsons special? Or is something else on your Must List this week? Sound off below (and make it good)!
For your viewing pleasure, I leave you with a Simpsons promo spot featuring House‘s Lisa Edelstein (Love her!).
All this poster is missing is Waldo. Tied to the DVD release of The Simpsons‘ 20th season (out Jan. 12), Fox has created an updated poster of their famous shot from 2007’s The Simpsons Movie. Because, clearly, they did not fit enough characters on their first poster. Slackers. (You can only enjoy this new and improved poster in larger form here—this shot is exclusive to EW!)
Springfield folks I’m glad made the cut this time around? The Golem from “Treehouse of Horror XVII,” the angel skeleton from “Lisa the Skeptic,” and Ray Romano’s Ray Magini from “Don’t Fear the Roofer.” But I’m absolutely stoked to see one of my favorite characters, Eleanor Abernathy (a.k.a. Crazy Cat Lady), if only because she reminds me of who I will be in 30 years’ time.
Personally, I could study this poster and soak up warm feelings of nostalgia for hours. But do you love the new poster, PopWatchers? Have Matt Groening & Co., missed anyone?
Image Credit: Fox
To continue The Simpsons‘ season-long celebration of its 20th anniversary, the show is inviting you (Yes, you!) to create a new Springfield character. But, please, don’t bother. I’ve been patiently waiting for this moment since the Poochie debacle, so if you think your pathetic scribblings have a prayer against my years of meticulous plotting, well, I can only offer a Nelson Muntz-esque, “Ha-haaaa!” Seriously. Game over.
But if you insist on wasting you time, you should know that your “pithy and funny” creation could appear next year in an episode with Coldplay’s Chris Martin. It’s up to you to determine the character’s name, age, appearance, occupation, and catchphrase. Executive producer Al Jean told the AP that my character — I mean, the winning character –could even pop up on the series again. Ooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhh.
You have a week to come up with your also-ran creation, who will be humbled by my Duke Stormgasket, an unbalanced paparazzo who mistakes innocent public behavior for licentious money-making opportunities. His catch phrase…wait for it… “Show me the honey!” I know. Brilliant. I can feel it catching on.
Still, feel free to come up with something else. In fact, I’d like to hear about Duke’s competition. What would your Simpsons character be like?
Photo Credit: Fox
Big news for fans of animated nudity (and there are more than you may think): America’s sweetheart Marge Simpson will be showing a whole lotta yellow in the new issue of Playboy to commemorate The Simpsons’ 20th anniversary. The issue on stands Oct. 16 has the blue-haired beauty gracing its cover as well as a three-page spread featuring “implied nudity.” New Playboy CEO Scott Flanders (Aha, Flanders…there’s the connection) says he’s trying to appeal to readers younger than the mag’s 35-year-old average. Clearly, Flanders succeeded in getting his magazine on people’s minds – for a day or two, anyway – and helping spread the word that, Hey, this ain’t your granddaddy’s Playboy. But interesting Alec Baldwin interviews aside, Playboy will always live and die by its naked ladies, and I’m not sure a cartoon stunt can change the fact that Playboy’s airbrushed centerfold spreads have been supplanted by the Internet’s ability to offer every flavor of naked lady known to man (as well as fetish flavors unknown to most men) in both photo and video form.
And, of course, Marge can already be found nude on the Internet (doing nasty, unspeakable things) courtesy of perverted Adobe Illustrator nerds. In fact, I’ve been told (by OTHERS) that a bevy of cartoon characters have been rendered in their birthday suits online. Which leads me to the elusive point of this post: What animated characters would YOU like to see in all their two-dimensional glory? Lois Griffin is the first that comes to mind for me, though I can also go old-school and call Jessica “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way” Rabbit. And what about the men? King of the Hill‘s Boomhauer could be interesting, no?
John Hughes died Thursday afternoon, and by midday Friday, the producers of ‘Don’t You Forget About Me,’ a documentary about the director and his influence on Hollywood, had found a distributor in Alliance Films International. Matt Austin and Kari Hollend discuss what happened last week in this CNN video, and their trailer for the film appears below.
Matt and Kari actually interviewed me for the project, back in November 2006. I don’t expect to be in the final cut, as this was my very first time on-camera (aw!) and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t stop rambling about how the girl in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off who lazily blew an enormous gum bubble in class was, like, a totally realistic depiction of high school. (Wait, never mind. This is a brilliant observation and should definitely appear in the film.) Anyway, I loved how they set up that particular shoot in the middle of a small NYC art gallery to give it a Bueller/Dream Academy vibe. Let’s hope that if the producers never did track down Hughes himself, they’ll get enough funding to include plenty of footage of the director from on-set interviews, etc.
The news wasn’t shocking, but certainly enough to make fans shout "Woohoo!": Fox has renewed The Simpsons for two additional seasons, which means that we will be treated to at least 493 episodes of Homer’s odysseys. (The network couldn’t have picked up seven extra episodes to make it an even 500? C’mon!) Currently in its 20th season and averaging 8.7 million viewers, the animated series is already the longest-running prime-time comedy ever. And while The Simpsons no longer carries the must-see clout it did in the ’90s, it can still pack a punchline. (I’m definitely hoping the writers will huddle again soon to whip up another movie.)
What do you think? Are you happy that that the Springfield gang will live to see a few more years? Will you hang in there until the bitter end? Let’s play a little game called Guess How Many Episodes The Simpsons Will Make. You write your prediction below, and many moons from now when we learn the answer, maybe we’ll award the winner something cool, like a case of Duff beer.
‘Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening looks to the future [CNN]
The 25 best (and 1 worst) ‘Simpsons’ episodes
Clip du jour: ‘The Simpsons’ – ‘Mad Men’ opening
Watch ‘The Simpsons,’ from EW’s New Classics Collection
‘The Simpsons': 16 great guest voices
The Collins English Dictionary has welcomed into its fray the now-real word: Meh. According to Radar, the word originated in a 2001 episode of The Simpsons, when Homer suggested Bart and Lisa do something other than watch TV and they couldn’t bring themselves to employ a real word, let alone eye contact or complete sentences. (I would have erroneously pegged "meh" to South Park, because "meh" sounds exactly like what Cartman tends to lisp instead of "me" or "my.") Anyway, please vote (for anything but "McDreamy," for the love of god) in our new-word poll, below. And check out the inspiration for our somewhat blurry image to your left, the amusingly vegetative compilation of "Every Simpsons Couch," on YouTube.
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