The Simpsons, undoubtedly the most successful animated comedy of all time, has reached its 500th episode after a run that's lasted since 1989. In the world of television, particularly in the 21st century, things can barely be sure of surviving beyond even one season these days, so the feat of the Matt Groening created show is unique - and one you suspect will never be repeated again.
Speaking to Usa Today, the show's executive producer James L. Brooks ruminated on the program's longevity, mooting "I think it's the flexibility of these characters. They can do any kind of comedy anyone ever thought of, from farce to reality," continuing, "For a long time, we didn't want to deal with the fact we could do anything we wanted. There were no sets, no past, no future. The first group of years was spent not taking advantage of any of that (freedom). Then we started letting it in."
It's certainly not been plain sailing all the way, in fact just last year the show's actors had to agree to pay cut to ensure that the comedy would survive, Fox having always claimed that they would no longer continue to run it if wasn't profitable. The new deal means that there'll be at 559 shows in total, and with it still averaging some 7.7 million viewers in the US, you wouldn't bet against it just yet to continue onwards.