is an American animated
sitcom created by Matt Groening
for the Fox Broadcasting Company
. The series is a satirical
parody of the middle-class American lifestyle epitomized by its titular family
, which consists of Homer
, and Maggie
. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield
, and lampoons many aspects of the human condition, including American culture
, society, and television.
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 first Fox series to land in the Top 30 ratings in a season.
Since its debut on December 17, 1989 and as of January 24, 2017, the show has broadcast 609 episodes, and the twenty-eighth season started airing on September 25, 2016. 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 scripted primetime television series. The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 27, 2007, and grossed over $527 million.
The Simpsons has received widespread critical acclaim, especially for the "Golden Age" of approximately its first ten seasons. Time magazine named it the 20th century's best television series, and The A.V. Club named it "television's crowning achievement regardless of format". On January 14, 2000, the Simpson family was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It has won dozens of awards since it debuted as a series, including 31 Primetime Emmy Awards, 30 Annie Awards, and a Peabody Award. Homer's exclamatory catchphrase "D'oh!" has been adopted into the English language, while The Simpsons has influenced many adult-oriented animated sitcoms. Despite this, the show has also been criticized for what many perceive as a decline in quality over the years.