The Simpsons (partially found scripts for unproduced episodes of Fox animated sitcom; 1990s)
The Simpsons is an animated sitcom on the FOX network that premiered on December 17, 1989, with some shorts being shown on The Tracey Ullman Show two years before that. The show has been critically acclaimed and has ran for over 30 seasons, with a 34th currently airing as of January 2023.
The show has had a treasure trove of deleted scenes over its 30-year run; there have also been a few unfinished or unproduced episodes of the series.
The Prince Episode
After the success of the Michael Jackson episode "Stark Raving Dad" (which has now been pulled from broadcast), around production of the fifth season of the show, the writers wrote a sequel to "Stark Raving Dad" which would feature the Leon Kompowsky character from the last episode thinking he is the musician Prince instead of Michael Jackson. He would try to get Springfield to "become more flamboyant, loosen up a little, become more sexually open".
The script for the episode was sent to Prince, but he sent back notes about what he was wearing in certain scenes. These notes did not correspond to the Simpsons writers' script. Prince had been sent an entirely different script. This script's writer has been disputed. Mike Reiss claimed it was written by an as-of-now unidentified person, Bill Oakley said it was written by a friend of Prince's, and series creator Matt Groening claims that it was written by Prince's chauffeur.
Prince lauded the anonymous scriptwriter and absolutely hated the script written by the Simpsons writers. Prince attempted to write original songs for the script, but the Simpsons writers refused to make changes to reflect this, and permanently cut ties with Prince, and thus the episode was scrapped.
A few days after Prince died in April 2016, showrunner Al Jean shared a couple of pages of the script that the writers wrote. This is the only finished script of a scrapped episode that has surfaced.
Crossover with Thirtysomething
In Season 3, David Stern wrote an episode that was a crossover with the ABC drama television series Thirtysomething. In it, Homer Simpson would meet a group of yuppies (young adults with good jobs and nice lifestyles) and hang out with them. The episode was scrapped due to the fact that the writers thought the episode never seemed to work and "wasn't in the style of the show". The script has never surfaced.
Bart Goes To Military School
In the earlier seasons of the show, a script was written where Bart would be sent to military school. Although this script, like the Thirtysomething crossover, was scrapped, it later evolved into another episode, "The Secret War of Lisa Simpson" as a B-plot.
As previously mentioned, parts of "The Prince Episode" have surfaced; however, the scripts for the Thirtysomething crossover and the early military school episode are still missing as of yet. However, it is likely that if Al Jean was willing to release portions of the Prince Episode's script, then there remains a possibility for the scripts for these two episodes to make their way into the public eye someday.
- The Simpsons (partially found deleted scenes of Fox animated sitcom; 1989-present)
- The Simpsons "Some Enchanted Evening" (partially found original pilot of Fox animated sitcom; 1989-1990)
- The Simpsons Movie (partially found alternate versions and deleted scenes of animated comedy film; 2007)
- Fox Kids "Bartcasting" (partially found "The Simpsons" promo on children's program block; 1996)
- Currys (partially found "The Simpsons" Sky One sponsorships ads from British electronics retailer; 2009-2010)
- Season Six Alternative Packaging Program (lost audio from phone number based on "The Simpsons" animated TV sitcom; 2005-2011)
- Al-Shamshoon (partially lost unaired Arabic dubbed episodes of "The Simpsons" animated series; 2005)
- Simpsons Wiki page on the show's unproduced episodes, which also includes episodes that never made it past the pitching board.
- A Futon Critic post on the premiere date of the then-upcoming 34th season. Retrieved 09 Jan '23
- Article on the removal of "Stark Raving Dad" from rotation. Retrieved 08 Mar '19
- Audio commentary for "Stark Raving Dad", where Mike Reiss mentions the Prince episode. Retrieved 08 Mar '19
- An interview on the fan website Nohomers.net where Bill Oakley discusses the Prince episode, and also mentions a couple of scrapped episodes. Retrieved 08 Mar '19
- A brief interview with Matt Groening where he claims that the script for the Prince episode was written by his chauffeur. Retrieved 08 Mar '19
- Al Jean's Twitter post showing a page of the script. Retrieved 08 Mar '19
- Another Twitter post with a page of the script. Retrieved 08 Mar '19