Oneof TV's most beloved, influential and enduring series, "The Simpsons," is about to add another "most" to the list: What appears to be the most extensive website ever devoted to one single program in the history of the Internet -- final assessment must await the October launch of "Simpsons World." Cable channel FXX -- which will air a marathon of every "Simpsons" episode -- Monday gave critics a look at a website that might -- just might -- satisfy even the most dedicated fan.
"I don't want to over-promise," quipped "Simpsons" executive producer Al Jean, "but I think this website will provide you with affordable health care."
Yup, or as the network spun it with just a little less hyperventilation at the TV Critics' Press Tour in Beverly Hills, California: "Simpsons World" will "offer a unique and personalized Simpsons experience for both casual and super fans by allowing users to interact with premium content in unprecedented ways. For the first time ever, all authenticated viewers will have instant and on-demand access to every single Simpsons episode ever."
To the question, "why?" In fact, "The Simpsons" is already easily available on the Internet. (Another "most" -- the most pirated TV show in history.) This new website -- promising a vast spectrum of content beyond the mere episodes themselves -- is designed to keep fans satisfied, and away from the pirates.
Meanwhile, FXX offered more details on the marathon: It'll air from Aug. 21 starting at 10 a.m. through Sept. 1, encompassing all 552 episodes, plus "The Simpsons" movie (Repeat episodes will begin airing regularly on Sept. 2.) FXX is calling the 278-hour extravaganza "the longest-running marathon in TV history."