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September 22, 2014

'The Simpsons' 20th Anniversary Special to Air Jan. 10

by Gary Susman, posted Dec 2nd 2009 12:30PM
Get ready for 'Super Size Me' director Morgan Spurlock's super-sized celebration of 'The Simpsons.'

Fox announced Tuesday that it's set an air date of Jan. 10 for Spurlock's hour-long documentary, 'The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: in 3-D! on Ice.'

(Which, by the way, is neither in 3-D nor on ice.)Get ready for 'Super Size Me' director Morgan Spurlock's super-sized celebration of 'The Simpsons.'

Fox announced Tuesday that it's set an air date of Jan. 10 for Spurlock's hour-long documentary, 'The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: in 3-D! on Ice.'

(Which, by the way, is neither in 3-D nor on ice.)

The special won't be just a typical clip show. Spurlock has said he plans to document the show's vast influence on popular culture. In fact, Spurlock, who's famous for his funny, twisted, politically aware documentaries, says he can trace his own filmmaking sensibility back to his first exposure to 'The Simpsons,' when it debuted during his college years. "I loved the way this show kind of tackled things in a way that didn't feel like I was being told anything or being preached to, but kind of made things funny and interesting," he told TV Squad in August, after Fox hired him to direct the anniversary special. "Yes, I think that even whether I know about it or can really say this was the moment that changed me, I think it definitely had an influence."

Turns out the affection flows both ways, and that 'Simpsons' creator Matt Groening and exec producer Al Jean are fans of Spurlock's. Having seen an animated sequence in his film Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?', "Jean said, 'We have to call this guy to do the special,'" Spurlock told TV Squad. "It was amazing and one of the greatest phone calls I ever got in my life."

Now in its 21st season, 'The Simpsons' this year became the longest-running scripted series in primetime history, surpassing the 20-season record held by 'Gunsmoke' since that CBS Western went off the air in 1975.

Following the special, Fox will air a new episode of 'The Simpsons' (the 450th one to date), called "Once Upon a Time in Springfield." Sharp-eared fans will hear the voice of guest star Anne Hathaway.

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