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The Simpsons production history

The series has gone through numerous executive producers, also known as show runners, throughout its run. The show runner is in charge of every aspect of the show for the season's) he is currently serving as.

  • Season 1–2: Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, and Sam Simon
  • Season 3–4: Al Jean and Mike Reiss
  • Season 5–6: David Mirkin
  • Season 7–8: Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein
  • Season 9–12: Mike Scully
  • Season 13–present: Al Jean

Writing

John Swartzwelder is the most famous of the writers on the Simpsons' staff. He has written the most episodes and many of them were the early classics. According to the DVD commentaries, he used to write episodes while sitting at a booth in his favourite restaurant. When the restaurant closed down, he bought the booth and had it installed in his house.

Current late-night talk show host Conan O'Brien was a writer during the fourth and fifth season. He wrote "New Kid on the Block" (9F06), "Marge vs. the Monorail" (9F10), "Homer Goes to College" (1F02) and "Treehouse of Horror IV" (1F04).

Ian Maxtone-Graham has been a prominent writer for The Simpsons since the eighth season.

The character Professor John Frink was named for writer/producer John Frink.

Animation

The Simpsons has been animated by many different studios over the past 18 years, both domestic and overseas. Throughout the run of the animated shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show, the animation was solely produced domestically at Klasky Csupo. Klasky Csupo was also the animation studio during the first three seasons of the half-hour length series, however, due to the increased workload, production was now being subcontracted to overseas studios, usually in Korea, where labor is cheaper. While character and background layout is done by the domestic studio, inbetweening, colouring and filming is done by the overseas studios. Throughout the years, different overseas studios have animated different episodes, even episodes within the same season.

The overseas animation studios are:
AKOM - 189 episodes

  • Exclusively produced the first two seasons of the series.
  • Produced various episodes throughout the run of the series.

Anivision - 55 episodes

  • Produced animation for episodes from seasons 3-10.

Rough Draft Studios - 110 episodes

  • Produced animation for episodes from season four onwards.

U.S. Animation, Inc. - 2 episodes

  • Jointly produced "Radioactive Man" with Anivision.
  • Produced "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular"

Toonzone Entertainment - 2 episodes

  • Produced "The Fat and the Furriest" and "She Used to Be My Girl".

During season four, Gracie Films made a decision to switch domestic production to DPS Film Roman, which continues to animate the show to this day. The last episode to be animated by Klasky Csupo was "A Streetcar Named Marge".

After season 13, production was switched from traditional cel animation to digital ink and paint. Originally, the switch was intended to happen during season 12 with the episode "Tennis the Menace", but after seeing the results, Gracie Films decided to hold off for two more seasons. Tennis the Menace, however, being already completed, was broadcast this way.


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