Live Action ‘Simpsons’? Is This It?

ON

There are a bunch of articles sprouting up around the Net that there is going to be a live-action opening to the “The Simpsons” Sunday, March 26 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. I just have to wonder if this is it.

Official word from Fox reads as follows:

The live-action show opening is an homage to television’s longest-running sitcom. From the Simpsons parting through the clouds to the infamous Bart writing on the chalkboard, Homer pulling the nuclear rod out of his shirt, Maggie scanned at the supermarket and the always-anticipated “couch gag” conclusion, the live-action opening mirrors each element of the animated sequence. The greatest attention to detail was paid in this recreation by a British team, as conceived and commissioned by the UK network Sky One. From wardrobe to location settings to character mannerisms, it’s all translated with uncanny accuracy via real, flesh-and-blood actors.

Said “The Simpsons” executive producer Al Jean, “I’m just amazed there are people who want to be known for looking like the Simpsons.”

The centerpiece of Sky One’s new “Simpsons” campaign in the UK, the short will make its American debut in the all-new episode, “Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife,” guest-starring yet another British import, Ricky Gervais. In the episode, Homer’s obsession with Lenny’s new plasma TV causes Marge to enter the family in a sweepstakes, where they win a prize to the Fox studio lot. Against Marge’s judgment, Homer signs the family up for a “Trading Spouses”-type show and is forced to take in a controlling wife, while Marge moves in with a beaten-down husband, Charlie (guest star Gervais), and his perfect son. Charlie quickly develops a crush on Marge, while she’s just trying to give him the strength to stand up to his own wife.

“The Simpsons” is a Gracie Films Production in association with 20th Century Fox Television. James L. Brooks, Matt Groening and Al Jean are the executive producers. Film Roman is the animation house.

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