This Sunday, January 15th, The Simpsons will air a supersized, hourlong episode for the first time in its history.
The granddaddy of animated comedies hit the 600 episode this past fall, and shows no signs of slowing down. This past November saw the FOX Network renew the fan favorite program for its 29th and 30th seasons, which will see Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie, and the rest of the residents of Springfield and beyond star in 669 episodes. Currently in its 28th season, the closest The Simpsons has gotten to an hourlong adventure (and no, 2007's The Simpsons Movie doesn't count) was the two-part episode "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" starting with the season 6 finale and concluding with season 7's premiere in September of 1995.
Sunday's 60-minute episode gives nods to both to classic tale The Great Gatsby as well as FOX's current smash hit Empire. The story will infuse Springfield with the world of hip-hop and rap , and feature an all-star lineup of guest appearances, including Taraji P. Henson, Keegan-Michael Key, Snoop Dogg, Common, and RZA.
As FOX describes the episode:
Mr. Burns (Harry Shearer) tries to relive his glory days, and crosses paths with a mysterious music mogul. After being conned by him and reduced to bankruptcy, Burns seeks revenge on the music producer with the help of Homer, Bart, rapper Jazzy James (guest voice Keegan-Michael Key) and the mogul’s ex-wife, Praline (guest voice Taraji P. Henson), along with Snoop Dogg, Common and RZA (guest-voicing as themselves).
Check your local listings. Classic episodes of The Simpsons can be seen as part of My24's ANIMAYHEM animation block, weeknights at 10p.