The Simpsons (partially found scripts for unproduced episodes of Fox animated sitcom; 1990s)

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Simpsonslogo.png

Logo for The Simpsons.

Status: Partially Found

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.[1]

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[edit | edit source]

Prince as seen in the Season 20 episode "Treehouse of Horror XIX".

After the success of the Michael Jackson episode "Stark Raving Dad" (which has now been pulled from broadcast[2]), 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,[3] Bill Oakley said it was written by a friend of Prince's,[4] and series creator Matt Groening claims that it was written by Prince's chauffeur.[5]

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.[6][7] This is the only finished script of a scrapped episode that has surfaced.

Crossover with Thirtysomething[edit | edit source]

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".[4] The script has never surfaced.

Bart Goes To Military School[edit | edit source]

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.[3]

Availability[edit | edit source]

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.

See Also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]