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The Simpsons Season 20
The Simpsons-S20 cover.jpg
The Blu-ray cover of this season's boxset.
Series The Simpsons
Country of origin USA
Network Fox
Original run September 28, 2008 – May 17, 2009[1]
No. of episodes 21[1]
DVD release date January 12, 2010 (Boxset)
Previous season 19
Next season 21

The Simpsons' twentieth season aired on Fox from September 28, 2008 to May 17, 2009.[1] With this season, the show tied Gunsmoke as the longest running American primetime television series in terms of total number of seasons.[2] The season will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on January 12, 2010, making it the first The Simpsons season to be offered in the Blu-ray format.[3]

Contents

Production

It contained nine holdover episodes from the season 19 (KABF) production line.[4]

Production on the season was delayed because of contract negotiations with the six main voice actors.[5] The dispute was resolved, and the actors' salary was raised to $400,000 (US) per episode. The delay in production caused the planned 22 episodes to be shortened to 21.[6] In addition, voice actor Dan Castellaneta was credited as a consulting producer for the first time.[6]

The Simpsons began high-definition production in season 20. The first episode in HD, "Take My Life, Please", aired on February 15, 2009, along with a new opening sequence.

20th anniversary

In 2009, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the premiere of The Simpsons, Fox announced earlier in the year that a year-long celebration of the show titled "Best. 20 Years. Ever." would run from January 14, 2009 to January 14, 2010. Several contests are being run, including the "Unleash Your Yellow" contest in which entrants must design a poster for the show[7] and "Best. Couch Gag. Ever." where fans create their own live-action couch gag video.[8]

As part of the celebration, the Irish-themed episode "In the Name of the Grandfather" premiered on Sky1 in the United Kingdom and Ireland on March 17, 2009. It was the first-ever episode of the show to air in Europe before airing in the United States. The American debut of the episode was on March 22.[9]

Awards

Episodes from the twentieth season received five Primetime Emmy Award nominations. "Gone Maggie Gone" was nominated for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming less than One Hour) and Outstanding Music Composition for a Series. Dan Castellaneta won the Outstanding Voice-Over Performance Emmy for voicing Homer in the episode "Father Knows Worst"; Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer were also nominated for the episodes "Eeny Teeny Maya, Moe" and "The Burns and the Bees" respectively. The winners were announced on September 12, 2009.[10]

Viewership

The season ranked 77th in ratings with an average of 7.12 million viewers and a 18/49 rating of 3.4/9[11] and the rerun timeslot ranking 113th.[12] The most viewed episode Treehouse of Horror XIX with 12.48 million watching it and a 4.9 Nielsen rating.[13]The least viewed episode was Four Great Women and a Manicure which is also the least viewed episode of the series.[14]

Episodes

# Original title Directed by Written by Original airdate Prod. code
421 - 1 "Sex, Pies and Idiot Scrapes" Lance Kramer Kevin Curran September 28, 2008 (2008-09-28) KABF17
After serving a jail sentence for starting a brawl at an alcohol-free St. Patrick's Day parade, Homer becomes a bounty hunter and tags Flanders along for the ride. Meanwhile, an Irish man gives Marge a job at his bakery, which Marge soon discovers specializes in sexually suggestive pastries.
Guest stars: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Robert Forster and Joe Mantegna.[15] 
422 - 2 "Lost Verizon" Raymond S. Persi John Frink October 5, 2008 (2008-10-05) KABF15
When Bart is tired of not having a cellphone, he tries to work in a country club as a golf ball finder so he can get paid but Groundskeeper Willie took all of the golf balls he found. While working at the country club, Bart sees Denis Leary throw his phone away and he picks it up. Bart uses this opportunity to go on a prank-calling spree until Marge finds out what he's been up to and contacts Leary. Leary lets Bart keep the phone, but also turns it into a tracking device for Marge to keep tabs on Bart.
Guest stars: Denis Leary and Brian Grazer.[16][17] 
423 - 3 "Double, Double, Boy in Trouble" Michael Polcino Bill Odenkirk October 19, 2008 (2008-10-19) KABF14
Bart meets Simon Woosterfield, a member of the richest family in Springfield and the two agree to switch places. Simon adjusts easily to his place at the Simpson home, while Bart finds out that his new siblings are plotting to kill him for his share of the inheritance.
Guest star: Joe Montana.[18][19] 
424 - 4 "Treehouse of Horror XIX" Bob Anderson Matt Warburton November 2, 2008 (2008-11-02) KABF16

Intro: Homer tries to vote for presidential nominee Barack Obama but the machine is rigged to place votes only for John McCain.

Untitled Robot Parody: In a light parody of Transformers, Lisa gets a Malibu Stacy car that turns into a robot bent on fighting the mortal enemy of his race (more transforming robots) on earth that may destroy the earth. [20]
How to Get Ahead in Dead-Vertising: After an accidental murder of Krusty the Clown for upsetting Maggie, Homer is hired as a celebrity killer (going after such famous faces as George Clooney, Prince, and Neil Armstrong) for two ad agents who have found a legal loophole in using celebrity likenesses in their ads. [21]
It's the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse: In this parody of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Milhouse summons the Grand Pumpkin, but it ends up going on a rampage after seeing humans carve pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns.[20] 
425 - 5 "Dangerous Curves" Matthew Faughnan Billy Kimball
Ian Maxtone-Graham
November 9, 2008 (2008-11-09) KABF18
In this latest flashback episode, Homer and Marge remember their dating years where a young Ned and Maude tries to keep them apart and their early years of marriage where Homer and Marge almost cheated on each other.[22] When Homer and Marge realize that one of their most cherished moments was based on a pile of lies, the two attempt to work out their issues.
Guest star: Maurice LaMarche
426 - 6 "Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words" Nancy Kruse Tim Long November 16, 2008 (2008-11-16) KABF19
Lisa becomes obsessed with crossword puzzles and enters a contest, where Homer places bets against his daughter in order to earn money lost from his couples break-up business.[23]
Guest stars: Will Shortz, Merl Reagle and Scott Thompson
427 - 7 "Mypods and Boomsticks" Steven Dean Moore Marc Wilmore November 30, 2008 (2008-11-30) KABF20
Bart makes friends with a Muslim boy and his family, but Homer fears the family may be terrorists because of their religion. Meanwhile, Lisa buys a MyPod and becomes addicted to downloading songs on it.[24]
Guest star: Shohreh Aghdashloo
428 - 8 "The Burns and the Bees" Mark Kirkland Stephanie Gillis December 7, 2008 (2008-12-07) KABF21
After winning the "Austin Celtics" in a game of poker, Mr. Burns builds a new stadium in Springfield in the same place where Lisa has built a bee colony.[25]
Guest stars: Mark Cuban, Jeff Bezos and Marv Albert
429 - 9 "Lisa the Drama Queen" Matthew Nastuk Brian Kelley January 25, 2009 (2009-01-25) KABF22
Lisa meets a new girl named Juilet and helps her write stories about a fantasy world called Equalia, but spending too much time with Juilet (and the story) begins to warp Lisa's sense of reality.
Guest stars: Emily Blunt[26][27] and Fall Out Boy.[28] 
430 - 10 "Take My Life, Please" Steven Dean Moore Don Payne February 15, 2009 (2009-02-15) LABF01
After an old high school rival named Vance is honored at on the Springfield Wall of Fame, Homer becomes depressed when he discovers that Principal Dondelinger rigged the student council election so Vance would win. While at an Italian restaurant, a mysterious chef shows Homer what his life would have been like had Homer actually won, which depresses Homer further when it's revealed that Homer would have been a success in life rather than a failure.[29]
NOTE: Starting with this episode, The Simpsons now airs in 720p high-definition and includes a new opening sequence. 
431 - 11 "How the Test Was Won" Lance Kramer Michael Price March 1, 2009 (2009-03-01) LABF02
Bart gets a perfect score on Springfield Elementary's latest standardized test, leaving Lisa worried that Bart may be smarter than her when Bart is rewarded with a field trip -- that turns out to be an elaborate trick into getting the low-testing students out of the way. Meanwhile, Homer forgets to mail off his insurance payment and must keep himself and the house accident-free until his coverage can be reinstated at 3:00pm.[30] 
432 - 12 "No Loan Again, Naturally" Mark Kirkland Jeff Westbrook March 8, 2009 (2009-03-08) LABF03
When Homer reveals that he takes out money from his home equity loan to pay off his extravagant Mardi Gras parties, the adjustable rate skyrockets and The Simpsons are forced to sell their house...which is happily bought by Ned Flanders.[31]
Guest star: Maurice LaMarche
433 - 13 "Gone Maggie Gone" Chris Clements Billy Kimball
Ian Maxtone-Graham
March 15, 2009 (2009-03-15) LABF04

Homer leaves Maggie on the doorstep of a convent, setting off a DaVinci Code-style chain of events involving The Freemasons and the hunt for a rare jewel. Meanwhile, Marge goes blind after viewing an eclipse without an eclipse shoe box viewer and Homer tries to cover up Maggie's disappearance.[32]

Guest star: Ed Begley, Jr. 
434 - 14 "In the Name of the Grandfather" Ralph Sosa Matt Marshall March 22, 2009 (2009-03-22) LABF11[35]
After neglecting his father during a three-legged race, Homer makes it up to Grampa Simpson by taking him to a pub in Ireland, only to learn that pubs aren't popular in Ireland anymore.[33]
Guest stars: Colm Meaney, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová.[34] 
435 - 15 "Wedding for Disaster" Chuck Sheetz Joel H. Cohen March 29, 2009 (2009-03-29) LABF05
When Homer and Marge's marriage turns out to be invalid, Homer asks Marge to marry him again. But after Homer mysteriously disappears on their wedding day, Bart and Lisa search for clues and believe Sideshow Bob could be the culprit. Meanwhile, Homer is locked in an underground bathroom and forced to lick a lollipop made of hot sauce in order to escape.[36]
Guest star: Kelsey Grammer
436 - 16 "Eeny Teeny Maya Moe" Nancy Kruse John Frink April 5, 2009 (2009-04-05) LABF06
Moe once again searches for love and falls for a woman named Maya over the Internet. However, when Moe meets Maya face-to-face, he discovers it's more like face-to-knee, as Maya is only three feet tall. Meanwhile, Homer puts Maggie in a playground populated by hostile babies.[37] 
437 - 17 "The Good, the Sad and the Drugly" Rob Oliver Marc Wilmore April 19, 2009 (2009-04-19) LABF07
Bart sets up Milhouse to take the fall for a prank the two of them pulled, and the duo's friendship becomes strained when Bart falls for a charitable girl named Jenny. Meanwhile, Lisa goes insane when she finds articles on the Internet predicting that Springfield will be a barren wasteland in fifty years, and is prescribed a strong anti-depressant that turns her into a mindless zombie.
Guest star: Anne Hathaway.[38] 
438 - 18 "Father Knows Worst" Matthew Nastuk Rob LaZebnik April 26, 2009 (2009-04-26) LABF08
Marge discovers a sauna in the basement of their house and shuts herself off from the rest of the world. Meanwhile, Homer becomes a stricter parent after meeting a helicopter mom who criticizes Bart for being an academic failure and Lisa for being a social outcast.[39] 
439 - 19 "Waverly Hills 9-0-2-1-D'oh" Michael Polcino J. Stewart Burns May 3, 2009 (2009-05-03) LABF10
Marge discovers how low-rent Springfield Elementary School really is and moves Bart and Lisa to Waverly Hills Elementary by having Homer rent an apartment there so the city inspector of Waverly Hills (who cracks down on out-of-towners who only register for a Waverly Hills address so they can send their kids to that town's school) doesn't get suspicious. Meanwhile, Bart helps Lisa become popular by telling others that Lisa is friends with a teenage pop star named Alaska Nebraska.
Guest stars: Ellen Page and Maurice LaMarche.[1] 
440 - 20 "Four Great Women and a Manicure" Raymond S. Persi Valentina L. Garza May 10, 2009 (2009-05-10) LABF09[40]
While at a nail salon, Marge and Lisa argue over whether or not a woman can be smart, beautiful, and powerful all at once, which leads to yet another Simpsons anthology show, featuring four stories of women trying to survive in a man's world: Aunt Selma defending England as Queen Elizabeth I, Lisa in a non-copyright-infringing retelling of Snow White, Marge pushing Homer to be a great Shakespearean actor in a modern-day version of MacBeth, and Maggie fighting against conformity in a parody of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead.
Guest star: Jodie Foster.[1] 
441 - 21 "Coming to Homerica" Steven Dean Moore Brendan Hay May 17, 2009 (2009-05-17) LABF12[41]
The citizens of Ogdenville swarm into Springfield in search of work after their local economy plummets (thanks, in no small part, to Krusty's veggie burgers, which contain tainted Ogdenville barley), but when the Ogdenvillians' Norwegian culture begins rubbing off on (and annoying) others, Mayor Quimby hires citizens to act as border patrol.[1] 

DVD release

The Simpsons Season 20 DVD Boxset, 20th Anniversary Special Edition

The 20th Season of 'The Simpsons' was released in January 12, 2010 with Homer & Marge and Bart & Lisa Heads on each side of the spine of the boxset. It contains Hand-drawn Menus by Matt Groening himself. The DVD case is almost like The Season 11 & 12 Boxset, sliding the discs out and an episode guide booklet. Unlike the rest of the DVD boxsets, this boxset contains no DVD commentaries.

The Complete Twentieth Season
Set Details Special Feature
  • 21 episodes
  • 4-disc set
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Languages:
Release Dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
January 12, 2010 - January 20, 2010

References

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  2. ^ Bill Keveney (2008-09-28). "'The Simpsons' Hits a Landmark". ABC. http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/Television/story?id=5888441&page=1. Retrieved 2008-10-02.  
  3. ^ "The Simpsons DVD news: Announcement for The Simpsons - The Complete 20th Season". TvShowsOnDVD. 2009-10-28. http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Simpsons-Season-20-DVD-Blu-ray/12874. Retrieved 2009-10-28.  
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  14. ^ Ratings: Four Great Women and Another All Time Low!
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