The twentieth season began airing on September 28, 2008 with "Sex, Pies, and Idiot Scrapes" and ended on May 17, 2009 with "Coming to Homerica". Al Jean is the showrunner of this season and previous seasons since Season 13. The season had officially been confirmed to air by the network in May 2008. The show is now tied with Gunsmoke as the longest running American primetime television series.
Production on the season was delayed because of contract negotiations with the six main voice actors, but was resolved and the actors' salary was raised to $400,000 per episode. The delay in production has caused the planned 22 episodes to be shortened to 20.
Voice actor Dan Castellaneta is to be credited as a consulting producer for the first time.
The Complete Twentieth Season was released on DVD on January 12th, 2010, just a few weeks after the series' 20th anniversary. This is the last season to produce episodes in the original 4:3 ratio, plus also the first season to produce 16:9 widescreen episodes from this season's second half onwards.
Transition to HD
Season 20 also marks the transition to the HD broadcast format. Starting with the episode "Take My Life, Please", more elaborate Opening Sequences were developed that could change from episode to episode. For example, a three-eyed crow flies from left to right at the beginning of this episode, then flies in the opposite direction every other episode. The chalkboard gag for "Take" reads "HDTV is worth every cent".
- This is the last season to produce episodes in the original 4:3 ratio.
- This is the only season where episodes are produced in 4:3 and 16:9 combined in one season as the next season will have all it's episodes in 16:9 widescreen.
- This is the first season to use the 16:9 widescreen ratio, and the first ever season to use the new intro from 2009 onwards.
- The HD intro features more jokes and more couch gag ideas for years for the show to come.
- This is the last season to feature a "Treehouse of Horror" episode to be produced in 4:3.
- This season marks the 20th anniversary of "The Simpsons" as of 2009.
- This is the only season to feature a Christmas segment/episode in a "Treehouse of Horror" episode.
|The Simpsons Season Directory|
| Season 1 • Season 2 • Season 3 • Season 4 • Season 5 • Season 6 • Season 7 • Season 8 • Season 9 •|
Season 10 • Season 11 • Season 12 • Season 13 • Season 14 • Season 15 • Season 16 • Season 17 •
Season 18 • Season 19 • Season 20 • Season 21 • Season 22 • Season 23 • Season 24 • Season 25 •
Season 26 • Season 27 • Season 28 • Season 29 • Season 30 • Season 31