It’s been a challenging and charged month for The Simpsons with that controversy over Apu, but the long-running animated Fox comedy will close out the month with an impressive feat: In airing its 636th episode (!) on Sunday, The Simpsons will set the record for being the prime-time scripted series that produced the most episodes in TV history, surpassing the 1955-75 CBS Western Gunsmoke, which tallied 635 episodes. Now, no matter you slice it, The Simpsons is the longest-running prime-time scripted series. Currently in season 29, the show — which launched way back in 1989 and has claimed 32 Emmys along the way — already owned the record for number of seasons, so this is yet another trophy for its buckling shelf.
The end of last week’s episode featured a wink at the record, and the opening of this installment also will nod at that achievement. See for yourself above as Maggie helps Springfield triumph over Marshal Matt Dillon and the denizens of Dodge City, despite his objections.
In the episode, “Forgive and Regret,” which airs at 8 p.m. ET/PT, Grampa becomes deathly ill and makes a startling confession to Homer. When he recovers, things aren’t quite the same between them. In semi-related news, Homer competes in a demolition derby.