Since FXX acquired the rights to show syndicated episodes of The Simpsons last year, it seems as though they have been taking the animated comedy show from Fox extremely seriously with regards to giving it airtime and support, with the marathon of all episodes to date in the summer perhaps expected at some point in their tenure.
A couple of months on, though, they have gone one better, with the launch today of The Simpsons World app by FX Networks. The app (only available to TV subscribers) will provide every single episode from the show’s past (currently 556) in one place (with new episodes uploaded a day after original Fox airing), already a big ask for America’s longest-running scripted show, but is added to with a number of news, behind-the-scenes, bonus content, sharing, recommended playlists, and interactive features.
The service is described by FX as an “…immersive, interactive digital and online experience … for both casual and super fans.”
Available both through website and the FXNOW app (on applicable smartphones, tablet computers, and streaming products), the service is to offer alongside the episodes a variety of clips and trivia to accompany the viewing, with features including news/social media hub Everything Simpsons, Did You Know, and The Simpsons Heartbeat (a ranking of all episodes by viewcount), alongside smart search functions for both full episode scripts and to search episodes and clips by character or guest star.
It was also claimed that they are not finished with creating new features, as a number are set to be rolled out over the next few months. For the completionist of content side, perhaps semi-related content such as all promos, inserts, cross-overs, movies, commercials, images, and Tracey Ullman shorts should also be targeted for inclusion.
The Simpsons‘ executive producer Al Jean said of the new offering: “Hello Simpsons World, goodbye free time! Seriously.”
On a technical level, FX Networks’ chief operating officer Chuck Saftler said of the new service: “We recognize that The Simpsons was found linearly on television for the last 25-plus years in syndication, where any episode could be served up in a given night. If you just flipped on the TV, anywhere across the country, you’d find an episode, and that was a great, easy experience. But we wanted to look at the new paradigms that we’re seeing in this SVOD space, this non-linear space, where people can create playlists and create the [experience] they want. We’ll make it easy for you. We’ll curate for you; you can curate for you; you can curate for us. It can be lean-forward; it can be lean-back.”
FX Networks’ ‘head of marketing & on-air promotions’ Stephanie Gibbons summarised: “The Simpsons is one of the greatest shows ever made and our goal was to create a site that pays homage to this classic iconic brand while delivering a rich, personal experience. Fans will be able to seamlessly move in and out of the deepest digital archive of any TV series online ever – wherever they are and however they want – and dive deeper into this colorful world through many additional features built into this site.”
Following their structure of episode implementation, you will be able to watch this most recent headline-making footage from the show, with a closing scene of the “Treehouse of Horror XXV” episode showcasing the characters in various styles that will appeal to fans who also enjoy other animated comedies and cartoons.
For those with a checklist, featured there was The Simpsons in Tracey Ullman form, claymation, anime, Adventure Time, South Park, Archer, The Simpsons in ‘Sylvian Chomet couch gag’ style, The Simpsons in Lego form, The Simpsons in the fantasy animal form of a previous Treehouse of Horror installment, and the movie franchise Despicable Me.