We’re rapidly approaching a reality in which the company that made The Little Mermaid might also own The Simpsons, a mind-boggling proposition for anyone looking back on the state of animation way back in 1989. But while Disney’s soon-to-be-completed acquisition of 20th Century Fox’s film and TV assets—including the House That “Eat My Shorts” Built—might soon make Springfield sister cities with The Magic Kingdom, don’t expect to see it jumping ship for a different network any time soon.
This is per Fox bosses Dana Walden and Gary Newman, who addressed the Disney/Fox merger at the TCA press tour today, making it clear that, regardless of who own The Simpsons, Fox will be hanging on to it for as long as feasibly possible. “You know what? Simpsons is so much a part of the brand,” Walden said. “There’s been such an incredible halo effect of that show and the other animated series that are on our Sunday night. There are no plans for them to go anywhere other than Fox. There’s so much upside and benefit to having a great Emmy Award-winning, smart, provocative, quality show, that there’s no consideration of not ordering more.”
Newman agreed, albeit with an analogy that might make diehard Simpsons fans twitch a bit: “There is no difference between The Simpsons on Fox and The Big Bang Theory on CBS,” he said, alluding to the fact that the hit CBS series is produced by Warner Bros., not the network’s parent company, Viacom. (Although there are all sorts of weird economic wrinkles involved in keeping a show on the air when you’re not the one who owns it, ones that might impact either series’ fates down the line.) “The Simpsons is so associated with Fox,” Newman said. “I feel confident that Disney and Fox are going to find a way to both have an interest in that show, and I anticipate it continuing to stay on the Fox network.”