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'The Simpsons' Being Shopped to Cable

Twentieth Television shops off-network syndication rights to the long-running animated series in the coming year.

The Simpsons  could be heading to cable in the next year, according to a report by TV Guide.

Twentieth Television is poised to shop off-network syndicated repeats of the long-running animated series to cable networks in the coming year, and the  Fox hit could find a new home on such networks as FX (or its upcoming younger-skewing FXX network) or Turner-owned comedy network TBS -- which just announced it has acquired American Dad to join Family Guy  next season. Viacom's networks -- including Comedy Central, TV Land, Nick at Nite and Spike -- could also be among the Simpsons  suitors.

A new syndicated pact for The Simpsons  is not expected to impact the Matt Groening-created series' off-network syndication pacts. The show, which recently marked its landmark 500th episode, is expected to continue its run on Fox beyond its upcoming 25th season.

The Simpsons  is expected to fetch an impressive per-episode sum in cable syndication, with its more than 530 episodes likely to score as much as $1.5 million per half-hour, generating an additional $1 billion to the show's lucrative business -- which also includes toys, apparel and more.

The Simpsons, which started as a short as part of the Tracey Ullman Show, debuted on Fox in 1989. Syndicated repeats have been airing on broadcast networks since the early 1990s.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.