The Simpsons showrunner Al Jean has revealed that seasons of the animated sitcom will no longer be released on DVD.
Responding to fan queries on Twitter, Jean explained that it was no longer viable to keep the DVDs going as the "market is dying", thanks, in part, to piracy. He did, however, explain that episode commentaries - for many, the primary reason to buy the boxsets in the first place - would still be recorded for FX.
In other Yellow Family news ...
The artistic staff at Film Roman (The Simpsons' studio) is on pins and needles.
We've been waiting for weeks and weeks to get a pick up. The voice actors still haven't reached a deal, and we're here wondering if there's going to be a long hiatus again. ...
There are a half dozen shows in the can for next season, but beyond that? Staffers are telling me that they're looking at twelve or sixteen weeks off. When I was up at the studio day before yesterday, there was a lot of anguish about it. Nobody knows when ... or if ... the voice actors who work on the show will come to an agreement with Fox.
The Simpson design and layout artists, the directors, storyboarders and production people have been through this before. A decade ago, the actors were hanging tough and most everyone with an artistic job went unemployed for weeks and weeks. Back then, many got jobs on Family Guy but were soon pushed overboard because Simpsons producer Richard Reynis wanted them available when Bart, Homer and the rest of the gang returned to production.
So now there's the threat of another long stoppage, and people are nervous. A designer said that Al Jean (longtime executive and consulting producer) is optimistic that new contracts with vocal talent will be finalized, but Matt Groening was reported to have said:
"If necessary, I'LL do the voices."
Even though the current standoff isn't in the news much, the crew is sweating a few bullets.