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Australian Simpsons News
1997


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



21st December, 1997

I was pleasantly surprised to find mail being delivered today, on a Sunday! Presumably, the intention was to make up for the postal strike last week. So it was that the January Foxtel Guide greeted me on my return from the gym. Despite frenzied preparations for Christmas, I've managed to squeeze in an hour to update the January Simpsons schedule.

The Simpsons will screen much as predicted in January, with the novel addition of a selection of episodes each Monday focused on one of our favourite characters. We kick off with Bart Day on the 5th January: a selection of six episodes centred around Bart, chosen from all eight seasons. Note, however, that this may be part of the changes that took place on FOX8 this weekend (with the introduction of extra timeslots for Highlander -- hooray!), so if you're at home, keep an eye out for The Simpsons tomorrow and next Monday at 12:30pm, just in case.

Foxtel viewers would also have noticed that the weekend morning timeslot for The Simpsons has been shifted an hour later with little warning (better later than earlier!). The new arrangments (9:00am-12:00pm Saturday and Sunday mornings) will continue into January.

Note to FTA Viewers: I'm afraid I've not much to say to those without Foxtel, except that you would have been pleased to see today's episodes both screened in full. Be aware that I'm not consciously neglecting FTA viewers; it's just that there's not much to say about The Simpsons on Ten, and lots of Simpsons activity on Foxtel.

I do try to keep up with what's going on in the U.S.A., however. I now have names for every episode in Season Nine, and what scheduling information is available.



8th December, 1997

I'm assuming the two Simpsons episodes on Ten yesterday were merged. If not, could someone please .

I'll be taking some holidays over Christmas, so updates will cease for a while. I'll try to get things as accurate as possible before they stop. Normal operation will resume thereafter, so keep coming back for all your Simpsons broadcast info.



5th December, 1997

The year's ratings closed last week (however unrepresentative I may consider them). The Green Guide mentioned that first-run episodes of The Simpsons and the 5 o'clock news were the only shows to win their timeslots on Channel Ten. One wonders, then, how Ten continues to get away with cutting The Simpsons. Do those tens of thousands of viewers really not care? I'm guessing, no -- people are just used to accepting things on TV the way they are, however bad.

On a similar note, where Ten is advertising The Simpsons as being "by Special Request," looking through my schedule will reveal that this is a load of baloney. The episodes are continuing from exactly where they left off (Seasons Four and Seven). Sigh. I really wonder what the Australian Broadcasting Association is doing with all our tax monies that they receive.

Thanks to an informant for providing the episode names for 5F15 through 5F22.



1st December, 1997

Some minor updates to the censorship section; the November history will be updated shortly. Not much else to report, really. I did learn that Season Ten is likely to be the last we see of The Simpsons (ie: two more seasons to go).

Someone close to The Simpsons emailed me (wow!) regarding the Season Six episodes not shown by Channel Ten. I decided to look more closely at this matter, and found the following in LISA (the Simpsons FAQ):

Why do the production codes in Season Six jump from 2F22 to 2F31? And what about 3F31 in Season Seven?

The current production staff at "The Simpsons" has only enough resources to put together roughly 23 episodes a season. However, for Season Six an arrangement was made with the staff of "The Critic" to produce two additional episodes. Those two episodes were given the p-codes 2F31 and 2F32.

For Season Six, a former writer was called in at the last minute to hack together 2F33, even going so far as to use a pseudonym -- "Penny Wise" (implying that Fox is "Pound Foolish" of course!) and so the episode was given the highest p-code available to distance it from the other episodes. Similarly, the Season Seven clip show was designated as 3F31 -- and this time "Pound Foolish" was even named as the director!

When Ten purchased the rights to screen Season Six, these episodes were not included in the package. Nonetheless, there seems no good reason why Ten should be unaware of their existence.



27th November, 1997

As part of the summer scheduling changes, Ten has discontinued stripping The Simpsons as of the 1st December, replacing it with Roseanne (no chance of mistaking that for The Simpsons!). The Sunday timeslot has also been shifted to half an hour later, from 7:30pm to 8:30pm.

Foxtel is now showing Season Six episodes of The Simpsons during the week. Three of these were never shown on Channel Ten; you can catch them at: 7pm Wednesday, 26th November (yesterday); 11:30pm Friday, 5th December; and 11:30pm Tuesday, 9th December. I suggest you set your video if that's after your bedtime -- the last one of the three is particularly good.

I read in today's Green Guide that the ABC will be screening more of Tracey Ullman in her Emmy award-winning series Tracey Takes On.... I saw the New York episode a couple of months ago and thought it was very funny, so watch out for these in coming weeks.



24th November, 1997

Predictions for January 1998 are now available. I remind you that these are purely speculative at this stage.

Foxtel screened The Secret War of Lisa Simpson on Sunday -- its first appearance in Australia. Ten will be starting Season Nine with this episode in February. I thought it was a reasonably good episode; certainly a lot more funny than King of the Hill on Channel Seven -- the latter was rather disappointing. It reminds me of The Critic (which Arena was showing, briefly). Its success in the US is, no doubt, attributable to the stereotyped characters, but I feel this won't work as well in Australia, where our own neighbourhoods tend to rather different stereotypes.



21st November, 1997

I apologise for not updating yesterday. I've just switched to a new computer at work running Windows NT, allowing me to update this site directly. But capitalisation problems meant the update didn't get through properly. If you're reading this, the problem has been resolved.

Foxtel viewers: I've updated the December Simpsons schedule, as per the Foxtel Guide. Note, however, that the Foxtel Guide has a few mistakes in it, on the 19th and 31st of December. These pages have the corrected information. Furthermore, the schedule for next weekend has been changed at late notice.

One episode of The Simpsons last weekend went to an ad break too early, obscuring some of the dialogue. If anyone can remember which episode it was, , as I may be able to get it fixed.



20th November, 1997

Ten is screening the exceptional double of The 138th Episode Spectacular and The Springfield Files this Sunday.

I'm assuming ten cut the first-episode credits and second-episode opening sequence last Sunday, though I wasn't actually watching. If the intervening credits were shown in full, could someone please .

Foxtel will screen the last four episodes in Season Eight this Saturday morning. The last of these (The Secret War of Lisa Simpson) was not shown by Ten, so is screening for the first time in Australia (around 9:15am).



13th November, 1997

On Monday 17th November, Foxtel's 6:30pm timeslot will be split into two half-hour timeslots, at 7:00pm and 11:30pm. Make sure you adjust your viewing accordingly.



5th November, 1997

Back for another month, and only a few weeks until Australia's first sight of Season Eight's last episode, 4F21, on Foxtel.

On Hallowe'en, the three and a half hour special timeslot was shortened to three hours, no doubt when Foxtel realised they'd otherwise have to fill the gaps with something nonsensical (The Simpsons music videos, anyone?). Meantime, the normal weekday sequence skipped nine episodes, apparently to prevent the same episodes screening in more than one stream at the same time.

And Channel Ten returned to cutting its Sunday screenings. Alas, twas but for a week...



31st October, 1997

Foxtel has skipped half of Season Four in its weekday stream. Apparently this is because the same episodes would otherwise be shown in more than one stream at the same time.

In the meantime, don't forget the Hallowe'en specials on Foxtel tonight!



29th October, 1997

Some information on changes to Foxtel in November. All of these changes come into operation on the 17th November.

  • The weekday evening screening of The Simpsons is to be split, with the first episode from the morning at 7:00pm and the second at 11:30pm.
  • The weekend evening episode of The Simpsons (at 6:00pm) is to be repeated at 11:30pm.



27th October, 1997

The November Foxtel schedule has been updated -- thanks again to my source at Foxtel. Everything's pretty much as predicted, except that the weekend stream will jump back to Season Three once Season Eight is complete, and the evening weekday timeslot is to be split. Incidentally, the week of the 17th will apparently bring numerous scheduling changes to FOX8, with many new programmes; check it out.

This weekend was an interesting one for The Simpsons. Foxtel screened episodes 2F31 and 2F32 for the first time in Australia on Saturday, but they managed to stuff up the start of the former (we actually got to see the first 10 seconds twice!). This followed losing an entire minute of the previous episode to technical problems. Hopefully this was a one-off event. (Fire the guy responsible! It was right at the start of my tape! Just kidding. ;))

Meanwhile, on Ten, Sunday's two episodes were shown in full, as separate episodes. I assume this was a special case, because of the Hallowe'en episode, but we can always hope Ten's changed its merging policy.

A more complete update to the October and November pages will occur next weekend.



23rd October, 1997

The approach of Hallowe'en inevitably brings out all the old Simpsons Hallowe'en specials, admittedly some of the best episodes.

Channel Ten starts with Treehouse of Horror VI this weekend, then instalments One to Five stripped next week. I expect number Seven might make the second timeslot next Sunday (2nd November).

Foxtel are screening all seven Hallowe'en Specials next Friday (on Hallowe'en, appropriately enough) at 8:30pm (pre-empting the great series: Highlander), in reverse order (newest to oldest). For those with nocturnal viewing habits, lock the doors, turn down the lights and watch the spooky repeat edition at 1am.



20th October, 1997

Well, I'm back! No updates last week, as I was on a course; now I'm (supposedly) a fully qualified Java programmer. But don't worry, there won't be any sudden proliferation of Java applets; maybe a search page of some sort, but nothing more.

Those with Foxtel would have noticed the Season Six episodes of The Simpsons on Saturday and Sunday morning, including episode 2F33, never before seen in Australia (okay, it wasn't that great an episode, but that's beside the point). Look forward to more new episodes over the coming two months.



10th October, 1997

Channel Ten inexplicably refuses to strip Season Six episodes. Instead, having finished Season Five, the weekday timeslot has gone back to the start of Season Two. I don't begin to understand this. Mind you, now that Foxtel have Season Six, I personally no longer care (though I feel for those without cable).

Also, no updates next week. Sorry.



6th October, 1997

The reorganisation is nearly complete. If you find any broken links, see any problems, or want to make some other comment or suggestion, please . Or you can just tell me how you like the new organisation. (Does anyone actually read this news page?)

I've added some tentative Foxtel predictions for November. These should only be used as a guide in estimating when each season will be shown, as the precise episode order for the new episodes is not yet known.



3rd October, 1997

Foxtel has the rights up to Season Eight!

Foxtel has acquired rights to The Simpsons up to the end of Season Eight, meaning we no longer have to rely on Channel Ten and their misconceived policy of cuts. [ahem]

This is great news for a number of reasons. First, Foxtel will be screening three episodes never before seen in Australia (with codes 2F31, 2F32 and 2F33). Second, we will finally see the missing opening and closing sequences from Season Eight. Third, no censorship.

Let me contain my excitement for a moment and explain the details of what's going to happen. Newly acquired episodes from Season Six will commence on Saturday 18th October, starting with the never-before-seen-in-Australia 2F33 (clip show number 2) at 8:25am (preceded by the previously shown 1F20). Season Six episodes will continue on Saturday and Sunday mornings, starting on Season Seven on Sunday 26th October.

The other two sequences of episodes (weekdays) will continue their current order. The dual Monday-to-Friday sequence should reach new episodes in early December.

Furthermore, all seven Hallowe'en episodes (from Seasons One to Eight) will be played on Friday evening, 31st October, in reverse order -- that is, starting with Season Eight and going back to Season One. These will all eventually appear in the normal sequence.

Many thanks to Foxtel for providing this information! :)

Somewhat anticlimactically, you may have noticed this website is undergoing a major redesign, mainly prompted by the sheer volume of Simpsons episodes being screened on Foxtel. I hope you like it, and if you have any comments, please do . In the meantime, please bear with me. I'm hoping to have everything done by Monday.



29th September, 1997

Foxtel Simpsons fans, rejoice! Foxtel has acquired the rights to even more, newer episodes of The Simpsons! More details will follow, but for now, keep Saturday morning on the 18th October free, and keep a special eye on the Hallowe'en special on the 31st October. And remember, you heard it here first!

In other news, the sheer volume of Simpsons being shown on Foxtel has necessitated an update to the design of the Foxtel pages. I would have had it done by today if not for a faulty floppy. Nonetheless, things should be easier to find by the end of the week.

Finally, those who saw Tracey Ullman Takes on New York last night on the ABC should have had a good laugh (I know I enjoyed it). Nothing to do with The Simpsons -- just good comedy. Apparently Tracey won an Emmy for this 'series'; let's hope the ABC shows a few more 'episodes'.



25th September, 1997

Ten continues to screen Season Seven repeats on Sundays at 7:30pm, but the 7pm slot will now be from Season Four.

Another Tracey Ullman Special will be shown this Saturday at 4pm (during the AFL Grand Final). If you're getting sick of the footy, switch over for some laughs.

If anyone tried to email me early this week and I haven't responded, please try again; our mail system had some problems on Tuesday.



23rd September, 1997

I've just spoken to Channel Ten. It seems they skipped season four in their stripping schedule because it will appear in the 7pm Sunday timeslot as of this weekend. Season Nine will not be shown until next year, probably February (as in the past). Sorry if I got anyone's hopes up.



22nd September, 1997

The Official Simpsons Page has an ad for a new Simpsons book, entitled The Simpsons -- A Complete Guide to Our Favourite Family, with information on every episode of The Simpsons to date.

Actually, my first impression is that it's modelled very strongly on the episode capsules that have been available at The Simpsons Archive for quite some time.

Nonetheless, if you're a keen Simpsons fan, keep an eye out.



19th September, 1997

The Comedy Channel on Foxtel will be screening a Tracey Ullman Show Special this Sunday at 10pm and 1:30am. This will either be a collection of the best sketches from series three, or a backstage look at how the show is produced, including an interview with Mat Groening.



12th September, 1997

Foxtel have graciously provided complete information for this month's episodes on Saturday and Sunday mornings! For the complete sequence, check out my Foxtel August and September information page. My sincere thanks to the people involved!



11th September, 1997

As of Friday 12th September, Channel Ten has skipped season four in its stripping schedule. See above for a possible explanation.



8th September, 1997

Season Nine of The Simpsons commences in the US on 21 September with "The City of New York vs Homer Simpson"! In this episode, Barney is made Designated Driver, but comes home in a limousine, forcing Homer to go to New York City to retrieve his car. Don't hold your breath, though, as we won't be seeing these episodes for a couple of months, yet.

I've cracked the code, so to speak, on Foxtel's weekend screenings of The Simpsons. Unfortunately, I can't make exact predictions, but Foxtel should be getting back to me with more information over the next couple of days.



4th September, 1997

Look out, Simpsons fans! The two-part special "Who Shot Mr Burns?" is on Ten this Sunday. If you missed it the first two times, here it is again (unfortunately, you'll miss the second couch gag).



2nd September, 1997

I'm back from a wonderful week's skiing at Mt Hotham. Only thing is, I need a holiday to recover from all the exercise! In the meantime, I've missed a week's viewing, and I'd be especially appreciative if anyone who knows which episodes of The Simpsons were screened by Foxtel last week would please .

Foxtel will continue to screen The Simpsons in three streams throughout September. I may need to rearrange these pages in order to cope -- please bear with me.



18th August, 1997

Ads in the US version of the Simpsons comics suggest the Ninth Season premiere in the US will be on the 22nd September, starting with the New York City episode. Thanks to Tony Lammens for passing on this information.

Foxtel seems set to continue its bizarre episode order on Saturday and Sunday mornings. The first three episodes each day will be as shown in the Foxtel Guide; for the rest, have a look at my predictions.



12th August, 1997

Welcome, all! Welcome to the Simpsons in Australia web site!

This is my first web site ever, so it may not always be entirely polished. Feel free to send me any comments, suggestions, or contributions -- every page has my email address at the bottom.

This news page is intended to record various information that comes my way about what's going on with The Simpsons in Australia, including announcements, analysis of unusual screening orders, and requests for help. For those of you who have Foxtel, I'll periodically be asking for your help in verifying which episodes are actually screened, as I'm not always able to do this myself.

This site started out in April 1997 as part of Tony Lammens TV Review. At first, my only contribution was information about which Simpsons episodes were screening on Foxtel. Later, when Tony stopped updating his site, I thought it would be a pity to lose that information, so I reformatted the pages I'd contributed to and asked the Australian TV Guide at Sofcom if they would host them. The people at Sofcom were very enthusiastic, and wanted to reactivate all of Tony's old Simpsons pages. A week later, I'd reformatted most of the Simpsons broadcast pages, and the site was ready to go!

I hope you visit often. I'll endeavour to keep the information as up-to-date as I can, with updates at least weekly.

Happy viewing!



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 ©1997-99 Paulius Stepanas. All Rights Reserved.

Last Updated: 23-March-1999