Executive producer/showrunner Al Jean talks The Simpsons Season 24, airing Sunday nights at 8 PM ET on Fox
Fox's Animation Domination lineup is back for an all new season anchored by The Simpsons, with all new episodes airing Sunday nights at 8 PM ET. The show is still going strong in Season 24, and they are about to air an episode that continues a long-running tradition with "Treehouse of Horror XXIII" airing Sunday, October 7. Executive producer/showrunner Al Jean recently held a conference call, where he revealed that it is easier to come up with ideas for this annual horror episode because the story is split up into three separate parts.
"The "Treehouse, because it's such a thriving genre, I think is a little easier to come up with ideas for. Plus you don't have to come up with a full story line. Thirdly, you're often just saying I'm going to hop on the shoulders of this original great story that people are familiar with. Coming up with ideas and new story lines is definitely the hardest thing that we can do, and the most difficult aspect of the job now. But I would say with the "Treehouse, it's actually easier."
He also teased a few details about next year's Treehouse of Horror episode, airing next October.
"Well, we just recorded the "Treehouse for next season and it included a very violent world resembling Dr. Seuss' and also the movie Freaks. This is airing in October 2013."
The series always manages to land a number of notable guest stars each season. Al Jean teased some of new voices who are popping up in Season 24.
"One that I'm really excited about is that they have mock trial at the Springfield Elementary presided over by Janet Reno who plays herself, and Lisa's always trying to curry favor with her. We also have Edward Norton, Tina Fey, and Jane Krakowski, just recorded the show all in, those are three separate episodes."
The Simpsons has featured countless minor characters over the years, some of whom weren't expected to hang around as long as they did. The showrunner gave two examples of roles that have blossomed over the years.
"I'll tell you two. One is Cletus, who was originally a man that got married right before Homer and Marge. You know, was just like a hillbilly guy. Little did we dream how popular hillbillies would become? Then Comic Book Guy, who obviously we didn't even bother to name at the time, the fact that he's had episodes devoted to him is unbelievable to me."