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Entertainment Weekly

TV

Simpsons documentary about 'Homer at the Bat' episode to air Sunday

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Twenty-five years ago, with the sum of one million dollars on the line, Mr. Burns ordered Smithers to assemble the greatest softball team ever seen so he could beat a rival nuclear power plant’s squad. (“Scour the professional ranks! The American League, the National League, the Negro League!”) Enter: Ken Griffey, Jr., Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Don Mattingly, and other MLB studs, though it would be Homer’s head that proved to be the championship game’s MVP. Today, season 3’s “Homer at the Bat” stands as a classic installment of The Simpsons, one that helped to usher in the golden age of the animated Fox comedy. It’s already been memorialized at the National Baseball Hall of Fame — over the summer, the Hall “inducted” Homer into its hallowed edifice for his contributions in that episode. And now, the episode is receiving one of pop culture’s finest honors: the documentary treatment.

Fox will air the “comedic” documentary, titled Springfield of Dreams: The Legend of Homer Simpson, this Sunday, EW has learned. The hourlong special, which satirizes Ken Burns’ seminal documentary miniseries Baseball, will pay tribute to the episode while offering up interviews from eight of the baseball stars who appeared as ringers in the episode, as well as Yankees All-Star Aaron Judge, Nick Offerman, Russell Brand, George Will, Tim Gunn, and Dr. Oz, not to mention sportscasters Bob Costas, Joe Buck, Bob Uecker, and Charissa Thompson. In addition, the documentary includes “interviews” with Homer, Moe, Chief Wiggum, Apu, and Comic Book Guy.

Produced by Fox Sports Originals and Major League Baseball, the documentary is directed by Morgan Spurlock, who also helmed 2010’s The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special — In 3-D! On Ice!

Springfield of Dreams will air on Sunday before or after the afternoon games, depending on where you live. It debuts approximately at 3 p.m. ET (for markets with an NFL game at 4:05 p.m. ET) and at 4:30 p.m. ET (for markets with an NFL game at 1 p.m. ET). Later that night, Fox will unleash “Treehouse of Horror XXVIII” — your first look at all of the segments can be seen here — at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

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