TV Home Forum

The Simpsons in the UK

TM
ToasterMan Granada North West Today
Happy Easter, everyone! My recent blank tape purchases reminded me to make this:

Whether you had Sky One in 1990, regularly saw it on BBC Two, (or maybe even One) in the late 90's and early 2000's, or have been watching it on Channel 4 for the last sixteen years: The Simpsons started off slowly, but eventually had a huge cultural impact in Britain, with people's first exposure to the series for those without satellite and cable in 1991 being the UK premiere of the music video for Do the Bartman, which rose to No. 1 in the UK Top 40:


As my family had Sky from day one, they were able to watch early episodes on Sky One, however, most people fondly remember when the BBC acquired the UK terrestrial rights to the series, starting on Saturday evenings on BBC One in November 1996, with repeats on BBC Two the following Sunday.


This of course changed in March 1997, when it was moved to Monday and Friday evenings on BBC Two, eventually becoming a weekday night fixture, something that Channel 4 has retained since snapping up the rights in 2002, and began airing two years later.




Some of my earliest memories of the series stem from BBC Two, (circa 2003?) and I was a regular follower when the series moved to Channel 4 a year later; my first recollections being on Christmas Day 2004, with the Alternative Christmas Message hosted by everyone's favourite yellow family, which led into the Season 3 episode, I Married Marge.
Last edited by ToasterMan on 12 April 2020 3:31pm - 2 times in total
WA
watchingtv Anglia (East) Look East
The Simpsons aired during LIVE & Kicking, probably from 1996, But I thought that it was sooner.
My contribution is small but you are welcome.
TM
ToasterMan Granada North West Today
The Simpsons aired during LIVE & Kicking, probably from 1996, But I thought that it was sooner.

From my knowledge, the BBC only started airing S1 episodes during L&K about 1999-2000, when ITV grabbed the terrestrial rights to Pokémon for SMTV Live, and they needed another animated series to compete.


Speaking of SMTV, one of the tapes I bought last week happens to have segments from Ant and Dec's final show and even CD:UK in December 2001, I'll be uploading them and the adverts breaks to my ToasterMan Archives YouTube channel once I find a capture card.
Last edited by ToasterMan on 12 April 2020 3:30pm
IT
itsrobert Founding member Granada North West Today
My Simpsons era was when it moved to weekday teatimes on the BBC. I seem to recall it aired either before or after the Fresh Prince of Bel Air at some point. I remember my older cousin - probably in his late 20s or early 30s at that point - was into the Simpsons in a big way and it seemed really cool, so I started watching it. It was also a staple of school playground chatter so you had to be a fan to keep up. My form teacher was also into the Simpsons and could even do a great impersonation of Krusty the Clown. Fun times!

I was shocked to discover that they are actually still making the Simpsons. It's been off my radar for many years now - I'd just assumed it had been quietly axed.

Very much a defining series of the 1990s - as much as, or even more than, sitcoms like Friends or Frasier.
Custard56 and ToasterMan gave kudos
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
Of course they've still making it. We need to know what's going to happen in the world in 2045.
Turns out nobody had 2020 vision.
VM
VMPhil Granada North West Today

Very much a defining series of the 1990s - as much as, or even more than, sitcoms like Friends or Frasier.

I'd argue it was as big culturally in the noughties as it was in the '90s… I remember new episodes still being promoted heavily on Sky One (particularly with the episode where they go to London and there were loads of British celebrity cameos including Tony Blair, which I remember making the cover of TV & Satellite Week) as well as the massive promotion surrounding The Simpsons Movie, and of course Channel 4's taking over of the terrestrial rights from BBC Two.
TM
ToasterMan Granada North West Today
I'd argue it was as big culturally in the noughties as it was in the '90s… I remember new episodes still being promoted heavily on Sky One (particularly with the episode where they go to London and there were loads of British celebrity cameos including Tony Blair, which I remember making the cover of TV & Satellite Week) as well as the massive promotion surrounding The Simpsons Movie, and of course Channel 4's taking over of the terrestrial rights from BBC Two.

Not to mention, they recently got another Radio Times cover to celebrate the launch of Disney+ in the UK:
*
JA
JAS84 Yorkshire Look North (E.Yorks & Lincs)
Some of my earliest memories of the series stem from BBC Two, (circa 2003?) and I was a regular follower when the series moved to Channel 4 a year later, with my first recollections being on Christmas Day 2004, with the Alternative Christmas Message hosted by everyone's favourite yellow family, which led into the Season 3 episode, I Married Marge.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apo-Wkc-MRE
Why does that video thumbnail have the BBC One logo? The Alternative Christmas Message was, of course, on Channel 4!
IN
Interceptor
It seemed from my memory like BBC Two stopped airing The Simpsons a long time before Channel 4 started. Is this just the mind playing tricks?

In any case I remember being very excited about it returning nightly, but it certainly didn't hold my attention as well as it had done before
FO
FanOfTV99 Granada North West Today
I seem to remember Sky One did a full day of Simpsons in celebration of the showing of the 500th episode. The marathon had people answering questions on the famous brown sofa before each episode and some documentary hosted by Iain Lee.

Sky also did themed weeks like on Halloween when they show the Treehouse Of Horror episodes and the Christmas ones around Christmas time.
Stay Safe.

You'll Never Walk Alone
JA
Jake Central (East) East Midlands Today
It seemed from my memory like BBC Two stopped airing The Simpsons a long time before Channel 4 started. Is this just the mind playing tricks?

In any case I remember being very excited about it returning nightly, but it certainly didn't hold my attention as well as it had done before

From what I remember there was a 6 month gap.
TM
ToasterMan Granada North West Today
It seemed from my memory like BBC Two stopped airing The Simpsons a long time before Channel 4 started. Is this just the mind playing tricks?

In any case I remember being very excited about it returning nightly, but it certainly didn't hold my attention as well as it had done before

The last episode aired on BBC Two was, fittingly enough, the Season 11 finale, Behind the Laughter, on Friday May 7th, 2004, I know there was a mini hiatus before that: all in all, it was almost six months until Channel 4 started airing Seasons 2 and 12.


I remember an article that said the BBC held the rights to the series until 2006, even though they stopped airing it two years after 4 got the rights in 2002. In 2005, Channel 4 gave them the rights to Family Guy for BBC Two, and later BBC Three, which is how Seth McFarlane's other shows made it to terrestrial in the UK.
Last edited by ToasterMan on 12 April 2020 3:35pm - 2 times in total

Newer posts