The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle classAmerican lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town ofSpringfield and parodies American culture, society, television and many aspects of the human condition.
The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a pitch for a series of animated shorts with the producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime time show and was an early hit for Fox, becoming the network's first series to land in the Top 30 ratings in a season (1989–1990).
Since its debut on December 17, 1989, the show has broadcast 501 episodes and the twenty-third season started airing on September 25, 2011. The Simpsons is the longest-running American sitcom, the longest-running American animated program, and in 2009 it surpassed Gunsmoke as the longest-running American primetime, scripted television series. The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 26 and July 27, 2007, and grossed over $527 million.
The Simpsons has won dozens of awards since it debuted as a series, including 27 Primetime Emmy Awards, 30 Annie Awards and a Peabody Award. Timemagazine's December 31, 1999 issue named it the 20th century's best television series, and on January 14, 2000 the Simpson family was awarded a star on theHollywood Walk of Fame. Homer's exclamatory catchphrase "D'oh!" has been adopted into the English language, while The Simpsons has influenced many adult-oriented animated sitcoms.