News that Fox has renewed “The Simpsons” for a 23rd season means that the animated hit will surpass the 500-episode mark during 2011-12 and is scheduled to finish that season with 515 episodes, New York Magazine reports. Only two shows have produced more episodes than that, the story says: “Lassie,” with 588 episodes, and “Gunsmoke,” with 635.
Fox announced its one-year renewal of the show Thursday. The 500th episode of “The Simpsons” is expected to air in February 2012.
The show remains among Fox’s best-rated series, averaging a 3.9 rating in the 18-49 demographic, the story says.
Veteran “Simpsons” showrunner Al Jean hinted that the show’s future could extend beyond the latest renewal. “We’ll actually have nough episodes to go into a 24th season” even if Fox doesn’t reorder, he said.