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Simpsons' Scandal Set For Sweeps

Fox has leaked the scoop that a central Simpsons character will be killed

off on the February 13 episode of the decade old toon. Rumors have been

circling that the grim reaper will be swinging his scythe at Maude

Flanders, wife of Jesus freak neighbor Ned. In a bold move of honesty THE

SIMPSONS' executive producer Mike Scully fully admits the show is a

shameless attempt at grabbing sweeps ratings. "We're in our 11th season and

we're always looking for new ways to shake up the show a little and do

something that might open up new story possibilities. We thought it would

be interesting to show how the surviving characters cope with death and

maybe take them in a new direction. Plus, it's sweeps." The rumor is

further supported by the departure of Meggie Roswell, the voice behind the

character. The soon-to-be-departed character will join the tomb of several

other Springfield-ites, including Bleeding Gums Murphy, Lisa's jazz idol;

family therapist Dr. Marvin Monroe; Grandpa Simpson's girlfriend Beatrice

Simmons; and Frank "Grimy" Grimes, an ill-fated nuclear power plant

co-worker of Homer's. Scully says that the show plans to deal with the

serious subject matter in a somewhat responsible manner to avoid upsetting

their viewers. "There was a lot of discussion about making sure we did deal

with some of the emotional ramifications of death and not just make it all

joke, joke, joke," he says. "But at the same time, we're a comedy, they're

animated, they're not real." The Fox series recently celebrated its 10 year

anniversary with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a new Web site,

action figures and PEZ dispensers.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
Creator of Rick's Flicks Picks