The Simpsons have just been renewed for another two seasons, which will send them sprinting past Gunsmoke as the longest running fictional prime time program (60 Minutes is now in its thirtieth season) . While the show may never again reach its peak of season 4-9, it has been in fine form for the last few years. Whether intentional or not, I always found it interesting that the show found its rhythm again during season 16 (2004/2005), which was right when Fox was bringing Family Guy back onto the air.
The Simpsons will have 493 episodes at the conclusion of its 22nd season, so I'd be shocked if Fox didn't give them at least one more, so they could vault past the mythical 500 episode mark. As it is, it's difficult to imagine a world without new weekly episodes, The new title sequence highlights the rich tapestry of characters that make up Springfield and the enduring legacy that Matt Groening has created. There is little argument that the show is perhaps the greatest comedy ever made, and one of the very best TV shows in the history of the medium. That it has remained so good for so long is nothing short of a miracle.