Why are the Halloween episodes of The Simpsons so often repeated in syndication?
August 26, 2004 8:27 PM   Subscribe

Why are the Halloween episodes of The Simpsons so often repeated in syndication?

I assume it has something to do with syndication costs differing between episodes or the way in which syndication packages are purchased, but I can't seem to substantiate this. FWIW, this household finds these episodes to be sub-par.
posted by anathema to Society & Culture (8 answers total)
Your household may not be typical — I've been listening to the DVD commentary tracks recently, and one of the things that keeps coming up is that the Treehouse of Horror episodes are among the most popular.

My own feelings is that when they are good, they're very very good, but when they are bad, they are horrid.
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:38 PM on August 26, 2004

Agreed, Johnny Assay.

As far as the frequency with which they air: is it possible that you're only THINKING that they are aired more often? I mean, there are 12 or 14 TOH episodes, and only ONE of every other episode. So in a normal monthlong period of syndicated viewing, you are likely to see at least one TOH show, compared to seeing, say, "Deep Space Homer" only once every four or five months, at best.
posted by davidmsc at 8:53 PM on August 26, 2004

"Trojans, Ramses, Mentor, Shiek!"
(the opening words to a magical incantation used by Bart in a Halloween episode)

I nearly died laughing when I realized what these words were. At this that Halloween episode was one of the best Simpsons ever.

I think davidmsc has the right idea for the answer to the question.
posted by Goofyy at 9:00 PM on August 26, 2004

I watch simpsons in syndication twice a day (most days), and I havn't seen one in a while.

Love em tho.
posted by Quartermass at 9:00 PM on August 26, 2004

Does it cost more to air an episode with a guest star in it? Must residuals be paid to (the estate of) Phil Hartman or Kelsey Grammar everytime an episode with them in it airs, making it more expensive than a regular-cast-only-episode?
posted by ChasFile at 9:23 PM on August 26, 2004

Because the rest of them, without some recurring theme, are unmemorable.
posted by mischief at 9:41 PM on August 26, 2004


Probably not. Most "guest stars" are paid scale - in the Simpsons' case, many want to be on the show - for family, kids, cultural, that sort of thing.

Remember these are voice only jobs. It takes less than a day to record whatever a guess star says, and can be done far away from the primary recording location (where the rest of the cast is.)

If Hartman/Grammar have residuals in their contract, then they (or their estate) gets paid.
posted by filmgeek at 4:59 AM on August 27, 2004

There's an interesting FAQ on Simpson's syndication over at the ole' SNPP.
posted by Otis at 5:38 AM on August 27, 2004

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