It was announced when Al Jean confirmed on his Twitter that there will be a 31st Treehouse of Horror episode of The Simpsons. Also, this season will contain the 700th episode of the show. It was announced on February 6, 2019 that the show has been renewed, alongside Season 31.
On August 10, 2020, the original 20th Television folded due to a rebrand of the former Fox assets by their new owner Disney. The 20th Television name however was kept after 20th Century Fox Television was renamed. However, this season will end up being the last under the 20th Television name, as 20th Television Animation will take full control with the next season, alongside other animated Fox shows. This is also the final season where Al Jean served as a full time showrunner, he was the showrunner since Season 13.
Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, a number of fans consider this season to be an improvement from the previous few seasons.
The Simpsons at Home Panel
The series had a panel at the 2020 San Diego Comic-Con, which is being marketed as "Comic-Con @ Home", to promote the season, with Al Jean, Matt Selman, David Silverman, Carolyn Omine, and Mike B. Anderson on the panel, with series regular Yeardley Smith serving as moderator.
The season was produced during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic which impacted many other television productions, but left animated production largely unaffected. This surprised Yeardley, who thought that the animation process nowadays requires fancy machinery, but was surprised to find out from Anderson that they were able to adapt to working from home really quickly. Anderson mentions that once COVID-19 reached the states, if one of the animators didn’t have a computer, they would have to be provided one from the office, or tech would set them up with one. Thus, within 1 week to a week and half, Anderson explains that they very quickly got the whole thing running from home. As a result, they are the same meetings, but none of them have to drive for them. Carolyn Omine mentions that while the part of her that’s agoraphobic likes this set up, the other part of her misses the energy of in person table reads. She also says that she personally feels more tired nowadays and needs to take naps. Al Jean went on to say that with no end in sight of this pandemic, he doesn’t know when they’ll be back in a writer’s room. He jokes that it is be the worst place to be at the moment because it would mean lots of people in one room.
[In the]] panel, Mike revealed that he used to direct lots of episodes and started on the show doing background clean up. One of the first things he drew was a seat at Moe's Tavern. Selman mentioned that they recorded the panel on the day of the panel.
Al Jean went on say that he is really happy with all their work on The Simpsons now being available to stream on Disney+. Also featured at the panel was “What Happened to the Halloween Candy?”, a snippet of Treehouse of Horror XXXI.
Al Jean revealed during the Q & A portion of the panel that some guest stars coming to Season 32 are: Hannibal Buress, Olivia Colman, David Harbour and Ben Platt among others. Matt Selman mentioned that Sir Michael Palin from Monty Python was someone he always wanted to get on the show, and they finally were able to have pop into the world of The Simpsons. Carolyn Omine mentioned that there’s two people in particular she wants to get on the show, but hasn’t. But since there’s still time to get them to agree, she won’t say their names just yet. However, she did say that her dream guest star would be Elaine May, but she’s semi-retired, so it’s hard.
Carolyn Omine said Cate Blanchett was great and that Sacha Baron Cohen had three different ideas for his character’s voice. She also enjoyed having Don Cheadle, who came with music he had written. Selman states that Jack Black will always have a special place in his heart because Jack had to learn Korean phonetically to sing the song "Goldfinger" in said language. He mentioned that the James Bond people wouldn’t let them sing the song "Goldfinger", even after they animated the scene and sent them the clip, they wouldn’t clear it. Lastly, Carolyn Omine mentions that she also enjoyed having Stan Lee pop up on the show as a fictionalized version of himself.
One of the fans asked The Simpsons panel if they will ever do an episode that explores Mexican culture. Al Jean responded by saying that for sure, they would love to have an episode where The Simpsons go to Mexico. Another fan asked how it's decided when it comes to new characters, when it goes to someone on the regular cast or guest star. The writers mentioned that sometimes they do have a specific person in mind, and that it’s usually more fun for them to pitch to a guest star a great character, rather than just a cameo as themselves. One fan asked if The Simpsons would ever crossover with Duncanville or Bless the Harts someday. Jean answered that a Duncanville cameo would likely happen soon, since Mike Scully works on both shows. Lastly, Silverman said that the reason The Simpsons are yellow is because it’s a color that also matches the hair and it was easy to do.
- This season contains a lot less billboard, couch, and chalkboard gags than previous seasons. This is possibly due to how long the episodes are.
- Due to the George Floyd protests, FOX announced on June 26, 2020 that recurring characters of color (such as Carl Carlson and Dr. Hibbert, among others) would no longer be voiced by white voice actors. For this season, a diverse cast of voice actors were announced for some characters, with black actor Alex Désert voicing both Carl and Lou, Cuban-American actor Eric Lopez voicing Bumblebee Man, Jenny Yokobori voicing Kumiko Albertson, actor Kevin Michael Richardson, who joined the show in Season 21 and voicing minor characters, became the new voice for Dr. Hibbert, Julio, now voiced by Tony Rodriguez and Mario Jose (singing voice) and Dawnn Lewis voicing Bernice Hibbert.
- Nellie Andreeva (21 August 2020). Disney Television Studios Rebrands Its Three Units As 20th Television, ABC Signature & Touchstone Television.
- Comic-Con@Home: Disney TV Studios Sets Panel Slate With ‘Bob’s Burgers’, ‘Family Guy’, ‘Simpsons’, More
- The Simpsons @ Home panel - YouTube
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Season 26 • Season 27 • Season 28 • Season 29 • Season 30 • Season 31 • Season 32 • Season 33 • Season 34