OK, Here's How You Save 'The Simpsons'

When Disney first announced plans to acquire 20th Century Fox, the internet collectively passed out from dreams of all the intellectual property possibilities. Will the X-Men meet the Avengers? Could Fox Mulder perform an alien autopsy on Yoda? How about an episode of Cops wherein Donald Duck is finally held accountable for his perverse disdain for pants? Of course, we're starting to realize that there are some downsides to the merger. Sure, there are the potential layoffs, and concerns that Disney will have a pants-wettingly powerful stranglehold on the entertainment industry, but what's going to happen to America's favorite non-burger-related cartoon family?

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As a recent piece in Variety points out, once Disney takes over Fox, Fox Broadcasting (which is not part of the merger) will have to "stomach the costs" of The Simpsons on its own. Plus, the show's preexisting syndication deal is tethered to the fact that it's still being aired on Fox -- meaning that ending the show to negotiate a new one could actually be more profitable.

So what to do? On one hand, it would be sad to see an iconic television mainstay taken down by backdoor business dealings. Then again, The Simpsons has been declining in quality since [INSERT SEASON YOU LAST WATCHED REGULARLY]. Maybe the show should be put out of its misery. But here's an idea: Let the franchise live on in movie form.

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Think about it. The last time anyone gave a crap about a new Simpsons story was when The Simpsons Movie came out in 2007. The embiggened hype around it was palpable. They even took 7-Eleven stores and transmogrified them into real-life Kwik-E-Marts.

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And even though the franchise was well past its prime by that point, the movie did very well, making over $500 million worldwide and receiving a cromulent 88 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. If The Simpsons ended its TV run but continued in movies, we'd be able to enjoy the citizens of Springfield without getting so goddamn sick of them. And creatively speaking, if they were working on big-screen adventures, the writers presumably wouldn't resort to referencing their own memes.

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