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For Whom the Bell Tolls? 'The Simpsons' to Kill Off a Character THR, Sun News

Fourteen years after the death of Maude Flanders on "The Simpsons," another regular character is reportedly about to meet his or her doom, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which got word from executive producer Al Jean.

Jean first broke the news in a conference call, telling reporters that the show's writers are "working on a script where a character will pass away."

Talking with THR today, Jean stopped short of revealing how the character would die -- or who it would be. Said Jean: "We are doing this story for the same reason we do all others -- we think it has a good emotional through line. The story will be produced this year, though it may air in season 26."

Jean offered one key hint, saying: "The actor playing the character won an Emmy" for the role, THR reports.

"In its 25 seasons, Fox's longest-running comedy 'The Simpsons' has killed off only two characters -- Homer's Las Vegas wife, Amber (season 16), and Ned's wife, Maude Flanders (season 11)," THR reports. "Pressed for details, Jean would not comment beyond the Emmy clue when asked if the death would lead into a 'Who Shot Mr. Burns?'-type story, only noting that he hoped the stunt would get '"Breaking Bad"-type numbers.'"

THR put together a list of potentially doomed characters voiced by Emmy winners, consisting of the following:

• Anne Hathaway as Penelope (2010 Emmy winner)
• Dan Castellaneta as Homer Simpson (2009)
• Kelsey Grammer as Sideshow Bob (2006)
• Castellaneta as various characters including Grampa Simpson, Barney, Krusty, Groundskeeper Willie, Mayor Quimby, Sideshow Mel (2004)
• Hank Azaria as various characters including Chief Wiggum, Moe, Cletus, Apu (2003)
• Azaria as various characters including Comic Book Guy, Moe, Wiggum (2001)
• Azaria as Apu (1998)
• Castellaneta as Homer (1993)

In a separate report, Canada's Sun News reveals that a number of other tidbits about the upcoming season of "The Simpsons" surfaced during Jean's conference call. Here are a couple of highlights:

• "The season finale will be a 'Simpsons'/'Futurama' crossover episode, which has already had a table-read," the Sun News reports. Said Jean: "I've been here 25 years, and we had a read yesterday where the excitement was as high as I've ever seen. We had John DiMaggio and Billy West and [Canadian voiceover king] Maurice LaMarche from 'Futurama,' as well as our cast, and I thought that's got to be the greatest voiceover talent assembled at one read. It was really, really great to see Bender interacting with Homer."

• The Comic Book Guy gets married. Jean: "The wedding is performed by Stan Lee. We have Stan Lee playing himself and (sci-fi legend) Harlan Ellison playing himself in that episode. What was funny was that they both wanted to be funnier than the other. It was really exciting for me, as a nerd."