So it’s come to this: Fox has taken over the Television Critics Association press tour for the day, and the promotions are already in full swing (which is impressive, given that the event’s on Pacific Time). Nestled within its broadcast bounty is the news that The Simpsons will be putting on its first hour-long episode. We know, it feels like that’s been going on for years, but verily, this is the first such outing for the show, which is now in its 28th season.
For its double-stuffed special, the Emmy-winning animated series is taking inspiration from elsewhere in the Fox lineup, and will feature a music mogul character in the vein of Empire’s Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard). This performer will pilfer Mr. Burns out of his billions somehow—maybe by investing in a music subscription service like Tidal?—which will leave Monty hungry for revenge and, well, just hungry. Bart and Homer will join Mr. Burns’ quest for vengeance with some help from a rapper voiced by Keegan-Michael Key and the mogul’s ex-wife Praline, who will be played by Taraji P. Henson.
Mr. Burns has had to rebuild his empire multiple times on the series, and has previously done so with the help of other Simpsons. Given the Simpsons track record for rap tracks (see: “Pranksta Rap”), we’d just as soon swallow a spoonful of Li’l Lisa Patented Animal Slurry. But good on the show for trying new things, including putting a terrible strain on animators’ wrists for last season’s live episode.