Despite naysayers and grumblers who believe the show has gone further and further downhill since about the fourth season (in 1992), but in 2016, The Simpsons is still going strong, and shows no signs of slowing down. Currently airing its 28th season, the ratings remain high, averaging at about 4.6 million viewers an episode, which is kept up by a massive fanbase who refuse to give up on their favourite show even when lesser fans did years ago.

The Simpsons is back!

The Fox network has renewed the show for two more years, which will bring the grand total to thirty seasons, which would be a nice round number to end on, but there’s no sign of any plan to end there, unless there’s a huge ratings drop in that time, which seems unlikely as critical reception of the series appears to be back on the rise.

The Simpsons recently aired its landmark 600th episode, the latest Treehouse of Horror special, to warm reviews.

This renewal is record-breaking, as it will making The Simpsons the longest-running primetime American Television series, dethroning Gunsmoke. In order to break the record, The Simpsons has had to beat out such shows as Law and Order, CSI, and Bonanza, leaving them behind in its smoke years ago, and within the next two years, will finally overtake longstanding record-holder Gunsmoke to take the much-deserved prize. This is the record for longest-running primetime show, meaning soap operas don’t count, but soon enough, it’ll have beaten them out too by the looks of things.

Total number of Simpsons episodes brought to 669

Gunsmoke’s previous record from its 1955-1975 run on TV stood at 635 episodes. The Simpsons has currently aired 602, and will have surpassed Gunsmoke’s number by far by the end of the 30th season, which will bring the grand total to 669, likely with a 31st season, 32nd, 33rd, and many more to come.

By the time The Simpsons has finally run out of steam, it’ll probably be another forty years before another show manages to top it. There are many who would say it already has run out of steam, but there is still fun and Comedy gold to be mined from America’s first family, as long as there are social issues like fracking to satirise (see: “Opposites A-Frack”) and gimmicks like an episode animated entirely with Lego (see: “Brick Like Me”).

Fox sent out a press release by Homer Simpson

In the official press release sent out by Fox to confirm the renewal and the breaking of the record, Simpsons figurehead Homer had this to say: “Take that Gunsmoke! You lost a race you didn’t even know you were running!”