The Simpsons Broadcast History
and Ratings Information

The pages below provide information on first-run airdates and ratings for The Simpsons, both in the United States and on free-to-air television in Australia. Both new episodes and re-runs shown in the primary, weekly timeslot are included, but stripping is not (ie: when repeats are shown five nights a week).

Concise Broadcast History

Ratings Information

Simpsons Broadcasts in the USA

US Seventh Season (1995-96)

US Eighth Season (1996-97)

US Ninth Season (1997-98)

US Tenth Season (1998-99)

US Eleventh Season (1999-2000)

US Twelfth Season (2000-01)

US Thirteenth Season (2001-02)

US Fourteenth Season (2002-03)

US Fifteenth Season (2003-04)

US Sixteenth Season (2004-05)

US Seventeen Season (2005-06)

US Eighteen Season (2006-07)

US Nineteen Season (2007-08)

Simpsons Broadcasts in Australia

Australian First Season (1991)

Australian Sixth Season (1995-96)

Australian Seventh Season (1996-97)

Australian Eighth Season (1997)

Australian Ninth Season (1998)

Australian Tenth Season (1999)

Australian Eleventh Season (2000)

Australian Twelfth Season (2001)

Australian Thirteenth Season (2002)

Australian Fourteenth Season (2003)

Australian Fifteenth Season (2004)

Australian Sixteenth Season (2005)

Australian Seventeen Season (2006)

Australian Eighteen Season (2007)

Monthly Archive

These pages are maintained by . Feel free to email me any suggestions or contributions.

Concise Broadcast History

American Origins

The Simpsons airs on the Fox Network in the US. It originally started as short clips on The Tracey Ullman Show, before being spun off into its own show in late 1989. Currently in its ninth season in the US, the show is one of the highest rating shows on the Fox Network.

The Ten Network in Australia

In Australia, The Simpsons are broadcast on the Ten Network and affiliates. The show is one of Ten's best performers, and normally comes first or second in its trying timeslot (originally 7:30pm Wednesdays).

According to Tony Lammens, original maintainer of these pages, the show was first broadcast on Sunday evenings amid a fanfare of publicity. The show failed to attract an audience, in large part because of Ten's unusual advertising campaign, which pointed out what a horrible brat Bart was. Over-protective parents stopped their kids from watching the show, and it only became popular when word of mouth started to spread. By 1994 it was such a hit that Ten opted to strip the show five nights a week, first at 6:00pm, and then in 1995 at 7:00pm. As a result, most episodes have now aired in Australia at least six or seven times.

The nightly 7:00pm screenings ceased on 4 December 1995, when a second edition of Ten's Sports Tonight moved into the slot. Failing ratings for Ten meant they resumed nightly 6:00pm screenings in March of 1996. A weekly repeat slot at 6:30pm on Saturdays was also added, but new episodes ceased being shown in March 1996, with Roseanne taking over the slot.

Weekly new-run episodes recommenced at 6:30pm on Saturdays from 3 August 1996, but ceased in November. The episodes rated extremely poorly due to the early timeslot and tough competition.

The Simpsons returned to their original Sunday night timeslot in early 1997, and new episodes recommenced at 7:00pm on Sundays from early February 1997 (though with the end credits cut). From mid-May 1997, new episodes were switched to 7:30pm, with repeats from 7:00pm. New episodes, from Season Eight, were exhausted in July, and Season Seven repeats were shown for the first time. After a brief hiatus, credit-cutting also returned, in August. September saw Season Four move into the first timeslot, while Season Seven repeats continued in the second.

At this time, the weekday 7:00pm timeslot was showing repeats of Mad About You. Weekday stripping of The Simpsons resumed in June 1997 at 7:00pm. October inevitably saw the Hallowe'en specials all stripped, and stripping ceased for the summer on the 28th November, with Roseanne initially filling the timeslot.

The end of November also saw the Sunday timeslot shifted half an hour later for the summer, to 7:30pm. Season Four and Seven repeats dominated the summer, though not entirely consistently. At the same time, Season Six was stripped for the first time, from 12th January to 6th February at 6:00pm. Having screened the entire season (but still no sign of the three missing episodes), The Nanny took over the weekday timeslot.

Season Nine commenced on the 11th February in a new, Wednesday timeslot at 7:30pm. The Sunday hour began screening repeats from Seasons Eight and Seven, respectively. March 1998 saw the appearance of all four missing episodes, with the last episode of Season Eight shown on 11th March, and the three bonus episodes from Season Six finally screened on the first three Sundays of the month, albeit with their closing credits cut.

FOX8 on Foxtel Pay TV in Australia

Foxtel, meanwhile, has been broadcasting The Simpsons, uncut and in order, almost since its inception, on FOX8. While originally they had rights only to Season Five, October 1997 saw this somewhat expanded, to include every episode so far seen on Channel Ten, and a couple more! This includes three episodes from Season Six previously not seen in Australia, and uncut versions of Season Eight episodes.

Over the summer of 1997-98, Foxtel greatly increased the number of Simpsons episodes being shown each week. At the height of their power, in the last week of January 1998, 47 episodes of The Simpsons were shown, with 33 of them being "unique!" This was subsequently scaled back somewhat.

Ratings Information

The season information pages subordinate to this one were originally maintained by Tony Lammens and have not been substantially altered. Unlike Tony, I do not have access to extensive ratings information, so this aspect has inevitably falled into decline. I will include any details that come my way, so if someone wishes to provide more complete information, please .

All ratings information is obtained through the research conducted by A.C. Nielsen Research. Nielsen is a subsidiary of the Dun and Bradstreet Group. Detailed Nielsen prime-time ratings figures for the United States can be found in Variety and Wednesday's The Los Angeles Times, as well as other sources. Some Australian ratings are shown in Thursday's The Age, as well as Wednesday's Herald-Sun.

The US info only contains information from the 95-96 season onwards, and Australian figures only cover the first season, and the sixth season onwards. More information will be provided if and when it becomes available.

US figures: Rating means the number of US TV households tuned in. In the 93-94 TV season, each rating point was equivalent to 942,000 TV households; in the 94-95 TV season, it was 954,000 TV households. This increased to 970,000 TV households from 2 September 1996 (ie: 1% of US TV households). The rank, where known, is the weekly ranking versus all one-hundred-odd other, prime-time shows.

From the 1996-97 season onwards, it is not always possible to obtain accurate ranks. It is, however, possible to estimate them based on the ratings for the other 'Big Four' network shows in the relevant week. These estimates are marked with an asterisk: *. Also from the 1996-97 season, the estimated number of viewers can be shown, as well as the ranking associated with the number of viewers. More family-oriented viewing such as The Simpsons tends to rank higher than the raw ratings numbers might suggest, whereas those shows viewed less by families, such as Murder One, might tend to sink even lower.

These pages are not intended to infringe on the rights of Twentieth Television, Twentieth Century Fox, or Gracie Films, who are the intellectual property holders of The Simpsons, and who hold copyright over the show, the characters and the storylines.

If you have any suggestions or contributions regarding this page, please email .

Copyright ©1997-2007 Paulius Stepanas. All Rights Reserved.

Last Updated: 29-September-2007