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Australian Simpsons News
Second Half, 1999


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29th December, 1999

Just dropping in a quick update, covering The Simpsons on FOX8 throughout January.

The Saturday 7:30pm timeslot is listing the wrong episodes in the Foxtel Guide on the 1st and 8th of January, but the correct episode on the 15th. Look here for the correct listings.

On Wednesday, 26th January (Australia Day), Bart vs Australia (2F13) will air in the first strip timeslot, bumping back the rest of the sequence.

See you in the millennium!



16th December, 1999

I'm unlikely to be able to update the website for the next few weeks (much anticipated holidays!) so I've done what I can to anticipate your needs until my return.

I've updated episodes on Channel 10 through to the 6th January, and added February predictions for Foxtel. Note that FOX8's not doing anything special on New Year's Day, so Super Simpsons Saturday will air as usual. Also remember that the weekday stream moves its late-night repeats to 11:30pm from Monday, 20th December.

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and an appropriately festive New Year!



9th December, 1999

Ten ceases stripping The Simpsons tomorrow (10th December). Next week, this timeslot will be occuppied by Season Three of Mad About You, effectively moving the timeslot to the other part of this site.



2nd December, 1999

It seems both the Thursday and Sunday Simpsons timeslots are to continue on Ten, both airing similarly scattered and merged selections of episodes.

New Feature: This Month's Simpsons
This month, The Simpsons Australian Broadcast Info Website introduces a new feature: direct access to the Simpsons schedules for this month, last month and next month. These pages may be bookmarked, and they will always take you to the selected month's schedule, relative to the "current" month (also saving me from having to manually update the links each month).

The only quirk is that, since the server is in the US, the change-over from one month to the next currently occurs on New York time. If I can't find a way to determine your local timezone, I'll try and adjust to Australian time, possibly even before the millennium rolls over. Naturally, if you find any problems, . (I'm particularly concerned about older browsers.)

The monthly archive has also been updated, to tabular form. Links to the "relative to this month" pages are included at the top of this page.

Finally, don't forget tonight's double-episode premiere of Futurama on Seven at 7:30pm. This will move to a single episode at 8:00pm from next Thursday.



25th November, 1999

Next week, Ten moves its Wednesday 7:30pm Simpsons timeslot to a one hour slot Thursdays from 7:30pm. I don't know how long this is likely to last or whether it replaces the Sunday screenings, but the move appears to have scrambled any remaining order in this timeslot as bad as Sundays. Meanwhile, the weekday strip has gone the other way, jumping back to Season Two and simultaneously returning to a more ordered existence.

Not strictly Simpsons news, but Seven is bringing us Futurama, Matt Groening's other series, to our screens from next Thursday at 7:30pm, in direct competition with the new Simpsons timeslot. Given there's no new episodes on Ten at the moment, I encourage everyone to check out Futurama, as it looks like heaps of fun!

Back to The Simpsons, I received my December Foxtel Guide, the last for the millennium (depending on your definition), a couple of days ago. Apart from some Christmas and New Year's pre-emptions, everything's pretty much as predicted. The biggest change is the weekday, midnight repeat timeslot's move to 11:30pm from the 20th December. As for the pre-emptions, the following timeslots will be screening holiday specials rather than The Simpsons: the 11:30pm repeat on Friday, 24th; both repeat timeslots on Friday, 31st; and the 7:30pm new episode timeslot on Saturday, 25th. However, one episode of The Simpsons will air on the evening of the 31st as part of the FOX8 Top 8.

On an administrative note, my apologies for listing 8:00pm as the screening time for Wednesday episodes on the Australian Season Ten page for the last few months. This has now been corrected.

Incidentally, I intend to restructure the Network Ten information to align better with the Foxtel version next year. This should be done by mid-January at the latest, coinciding with next year's spreadsheet file.



11th November, 1999

Ten's weekday stripping is going back to fill in some gaps this week, episodes skipped earlier in the stripping that may or may not have been rated PG (guess not). This also makes the next couple of weeks' predictions a little unreliable, and I'm not even going to start on December!

The watermark on FOX8 got a little bit better during the week, got worse, then got better again. I'm still hoping for a return to its least obtrusive form, but we'll just have to wait and see. If you have any feelings on this, make sure you let Foxtel know.



1st November, 1999

Was I the only person to completely miss Daylight Savings? No-one mentioned it, I didn't hear it on the radio... It wasn't until I got up for the end of The Simpsons on Sunday and was confronted by Baywatch that I knew I'd lost an hour. Oh well. As long as I remember to vote in the referendum next week...

As for The Simpsons, the Hallowe'en marathon was fun, but at midnight things started going downhill. The Simpsons episode scheduled for midnight was replaced by The Pepsi Chart (not without some justification). More importantly, FOX8 introduced a whole new look for their station. Overall, I reckon it looks pretty good -- just take some getting used to.

The problem is, the watermark has become opaque again. For the first half of The Pepsi Chart it actually resembled the gold, Fox Sports watermark, in the top, right-hand corner. Then it changed to a more colourful object in its accustomed position. The trouble is, an opaque watermark will completely obscure important elements of the action once in a while, and The Simpsons is particularly susceptible (qv. Bart Gets an Elephant). I realise some of you won't care either way, but I encourage those who do to make your opinion known to Foxtel on their feedback line: 1800 689 991



29th October, 1999

I forgot to mention yesterday that Channel Ten are running a Simpsons competition with some great prizes: a caricature of yourself in the Simpsons style, an animation cell, and I believe a trip to Fox Studios. (Don't quote me on this, but you get the idea.) To be in it, I think you need to watch the Wednesday Simpsons timeslot on Ten.



28th October, 1999

The Green Guide reports that Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart) is visiting Melbourne next month, a guest of the Comic Art Gallery. This probably means they'll have a number of new Simpsons animation cells for sale, so check it out if you're in the area.

I forgot to mention last week that Ten's been showing Hallowe'en specials in its stripping schedule since Tuesday. That culminates in the Hallowe'en specials from Seasons Eight and Nine this Sunday.

On FOX8 this Sunday, thirteen Hallowe'en episodes will screen in five and a half hours, running through the Treehouse of Horror series from IX to I, then IX to VI. That means about 25.5 minutes per episode, or three ad breaks in excess of a minute per episode. In other words, if you're collecting, make the most of this opportunity. :)

On FOX8 in November, there's only two, minor changes to their Simpsons schedule. The first is the dropping of the midnight timeslot on Sunday nights. The second is the screening of the two parts of Who Shot Mr Burns? (2F16 and 2F20) both in the 7:00am timeslot on consecutive days (29th and 30th November) rather than at 7:00am and 8:00am on the same day. This is presumably for those only able to watch the one timeslot, say over breakfast.



21st October, 1999

The Simpsons Archive reports the following story, pertaining to Fox Studios' new backlot in Sydney:

Simpsons Down Under

By Jouni Paakkinen (jouni@snpp.com) - October 18, 1999 - Thanks to Adam Wolf
     On November 7, a new amusement park will be launched in Sydney, Australia. Christened the Fox Studios Backlot, its most interesting attraction--from the point of view of a Simpsons fan--will be a feature called "The Simpsons Down Under."
     According to Fox Australia's web site, members of the audience get to be animated into a re-edited and re-animated special based on "Bart vs. Australia". This is accomplished with a technique called motion capture.
     The visitors will also be able to visit the Simpsons' home and have a walkabout in two-dimensional downtown Springfield, passing by Moe's Bar, Androidís Dungeon and many other familiar locations, while the voices behind characters crack jokes along the way.
     A wide range of original Simpsons merchandise, including composite photos, will be made available for the customers.
     For more information, visit Fox Studios Australia web site.

On the same page, under Newsbites, a couple of new websites are mentioned that might be worth checking out.

As for the schedules, I'll try to post a running order for next weekend's Simpsons Hallowe'en Special on FOX8 by next Thursday.



14th October, 1999

I'm back, after an occasionally interesting MPEG meeting and a very exciting wedding in the family!

Not much change in The Simpsons over the last couple of weeks, although Ten do seem to be skipping a lot of episodes in the stripping schedule. Apparently this is because they have a PG rating, which isn't allowed before 7:30pm.



1st October, 1999

Looks like I covered almost everything on Wednesday, after all. Just forgot to mention the Hallowe'en marathon on Sunday, 31st October from 6:30pm to midnight. However, five and a half hours seems a long time for just nine episodes (the Simpsons Hallowe'en specials to date). The rest of the site has also been updated: the Foxtel page, November predictions, etc.

I've also been advised that the episode names in the Foxtel Guide for the Saturday 7:30pm stream of The Simpsons are incorrect (two episodes late). The correct episodes are named on my October page.

I won't be able to make an update next week, as I'll be attending the MPEG standards meeting fortuitously being held in Melbourne. But don't despair; I'll be back the following Thursday.

Update: The Simpsons Hallowe'en special on 31st October on FOX8 will, it seems, repeat half-way through the night. That is, first, every Hallowe'en episode will air, in reverse order, then, they will be repeated to fill the time. However, no more than fourteen episodes can fit into the five and a half hours allocated (fewer is more likely), so not every episode will air twice. I'll try to get more detail closer to the day.



29th September, 1999

I don't have time for a full update. Just to say that I finally got my October Foxtel Guide yesterday and I've updated the October 99 page and some of the Foxtel page. The rest of the site should be synchronised on Friday. In the meantime, here's a quick run-down of the timeslot changes on Foxtel:

Nearly every stream is to undergo some changes in October. The weekday stream gains an extra repeat timeslot at 12:00am, so both morning episodes can be repeated, at 7:00pm and 12:00am, respectively. The weekend morning stream moves back to seven episodes and a 9:00am start. The weekend evening stream moves to just a single episode at midnight Sunday night. Only the 7:30pm Saturday stream is unchanged, although the Foxtel Guide suggests two episodes are to be skipped between months.



27th September, 1999

Although I haven't received my October Foxtel Guide yet (it seems to come later each month), the weekend's ads on FOX8 pointed out a few changes. The weekend morning stream of The Simpsons will be moving back to 9:00am both Saturday and Sunday from next weekend (but still finishing at 12:00pm -- 3 hours, probably 7 episodes). And there's to be another Hallowe'en marathon at the end of the month.

Also, my apologies for getting Sunday's episodes on Ten wrong. It seems the Green Guide made a mistake. Thanks to Adam Wolf for pointing this out, and for providing me with "next Sunday's" episodes a few days earlier than the Green Guide for the last few weeks (even if I don't always put them up straight away).



23rd September, 1999

The episode list has been updated for Season Eleven, but I don't intend to update the synopses until it starts airing in Australia (around February). I've also moved US Season Eleven to it's own page.

In partially related news, it seems Seven, not Ten, will be picking up Futurama, Matt Groening's newest TV project. Sadly, it's not scheduled to air until 2000. Let's hope Seven doesn't treat it as poorly as King of the Hill. Given its science fiction setting, I'm guessing Futurama might cop the same sort of treatment as Millennium: late-night timeslots and interrupted seasons. All remains to be seen.



16th September, 1999

Season Eleven of The Simpsons premieres in the US on Sunday, 26th September at 8:00pm with Beyond Blunderdome (AABF23). I don't have time to build a Season Eleven page today, but one will appear in the next couple of days.



9th September, 1999

Ten is showing an "Adults Only" special this Saturday, including the Simpsons episode, Natural Born Kissers (5F18), at 8:30pm.

On FOX8, for the moment Season Ten will only air in the new, Saturday 7:30pm timeslot. This means the weekend morning stream will loop back to Season One once Season Nine is complete, on 2nd October.

I've also updated Foxtel's master episode order for Season Ten.



7th September, 1999

I'm back, after some ordinary weather but some good snow and good skiing. The vagaries of Foxtel Guide mailing mean I missed a few things before they happened, but here's the low-down on this month.

On Saturday, 4th September, a new timeslot was launched, screening Season Ten episodes on FOX8 for the first time, Saturdays at 7:30pm.

The following week, the Saturday morning timeslot will move to align with its Sunday version, airing 10:00am to 12 noon from Saturday, 11th September.

Monday, 13th September, The Simpsons' 8:00am timeslot will be pre-empted by the Emmies, though the 7:00pm timeslot will screen as usual.

Meanwhile, on FTA, Ten seems to have settled its Simpsons timeslots somewhat, airing Season Nine episodes on Wednesdays and using the Sunday double timeslot for themed specials, merging two episodes from recent seasons. (Thanks to those who helped me out with the last two weeks' Sunday episodes!)

Year 2000 News: Fox is planning to make 2000 a "Year-Long Celebration of The Simpsons". The Simpsons Archive has all the details.



26th August, 1999

I'm going skiing next week, so unfortunately I won't be able to update Ten's weird episode orders or Foxtel's September line-up until I get back. Don't forget the new 7:30pm Saturday Simpsons timeslot on FOX8.

This Sunday, Ten's Simpsons line-up is again unclear. If someone has the opportunity to watch the two Sunday episodes, could you please and let me know which two episodes screen and whether they're merged. I'm also still waiting on confirmation from last weekend. Thanks in advance.



24th August, 1999

If anyone can confirm or counter that Ten merged Sunday's two episodes of The Simpsons, please !

I had time over the weekend to put together some synopses for Season Ten, admittedly sourced from The Simpsons Archive. I think I've updated all older links, but if you find any more, please .

FOX8 have started advertising their September line-up, and it looks like Saturday nights are to change significantly. I can't yet confirm this, but it looks like Season Ten Simpsons episodes will air first in a new, Saturday 7:30pm timeslot.



19th August, 1999

I'm not sure how it happened, but I forgot to post Monday's update -- and nearly lost it as a result. Rather than merging with today's, I'll leave it separate.

Ten has decided to move Good News Week to 9:30pm Monday, freeing up the 7:30pm Sunday timeslot for a return of The Simpsons. This is very much a last minute change, with only sparse information available, but from what I know, I'm guessing two episodes will air, merged. The first will be The Twisted World of Marge Simpson (we know this). The second is marked as episode 20, which could mean either The Canine Mutiny (4F16) or The Simpsons Spin-off Showcase (4F20), or perhaps something else. For next week, I'm hoping to get some more information once things settle down.

While I was sick, the web-site's second birthday surreptitiously slipped by. Perhaps by its third birthday I may have actually implemented all the things I've been promising. :)

Also slipping by was The Oz TV Gazette's first birthday a couple of weeks ago. However, the name, The Oz TV Gazette, did make it's debut on yesterday's date, one year ago.



16th August, 1999

My apologies for missing last week's Thursday update -- I spent most of the week sick in bed with some sort of flu. Should be back to normal from now on.



9th August, 1999

Something of a treat as the website nears its second birthday: I've added synopses for all of Season Nine. These are predominantly taken from The Simpsons Archive and reformatted, with some minor modifications and additions. I'll try and add Season Ten soon, though given how long it took to do Season Nine, I may not have time immediately. In the meantime, there's one or two links that may not quite work right.



5th August, 1999

This may change next week, but it appears that Ten intends to use its Wednesday Simpsons timeslot for Season Nine repeats and the Sunday timeslot for Season Eight repeats.

Homer to the Max: What a hilarious ending! (Actually, not quite the ending, but the scene before.) I could barely stop laughing as Homer was chased around the tree, causing it to initiate a game of dominoes, concluding with a crushed police car! Loved the eagle getting chained, too. I really enjoyed this episode, which may be surprising given the number of really lame moments. I guess the good jokes made up for the weak ones. Marge doing the laundry for a couch gag was great; I thought Ned's new voice was very clever (more self-referential humour); and Homer's scarf getting caught in the ceiling fan was vintage slapstick. When Homer reinvented himself, I'm surprised his absurd, "Strap yourself in and feel the gees!" didn't earn a PG rating. At the party, Homer admitted that "I spend a lot of time on the couch," which earned the reply, "Don't we all!" -- a lovely bit of double-meaning. I'll leave you with the image of the go-cart "powered by my own sense of satisfaction." Hummm.



29th July, 1999

Someone at Ten apparently wised up to the fact they were about to do something sensible by including Season Six's "missing" episodes in the stripping sequence. So now we're back to Season Two. Meanwhile, the Sunday stream has jumped ahead to Season Eight.

Next Wednesday, Ten will screen Homer to the Max (AABF09), which the Green Guide correctly pointed out is the "last of the season being shown by Ten" (the season finale, Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo, aired yesterday -- Homer to the Max was skipped for some reason in April).

Emmy Nominations: The Simpsons has been nominated for two Emmies, one for Outstanding Animated Program, one for Outstanding Dramatic Underscore. For more information, check out the story at The Simpsons Archive.

Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo: Not bad for a season finale. The whole Internet cafe scene at the start is perhaps the first time The Simpsons has portrayed the Internet in a positive manner. Homer's burglary was classic Homer-Flanders interaction (actually very similar to previous exchanges, though perhaps somewhat longer). The Simpsons' trip to Japan was, I think, done in the same spirit as their Australian episode a few years ago, in that it was more about Americans' perception of Japan than about being accurate. But there were some great moments: Bart's Gameboy shutting down the plane, the Japanese toilet and its coloured fountains (and camera), and Homer's insistence on walking through paper walls (especially when he left the jail that way).

The jail was particularly clever, forcing the inmates to learn traditional Japanese art forms (I'm amazed how much rubbed off on Homer). When the Simpsons' last million yen (actually about $10,000!) blew away, what was translated as "D'oh!" sounded strangely reminiscent of "mother-f...", though I reckon that may have been unintentional. The line about Japanese game-shows punishing ignorance clearly arises from the endurance games that have been seen from time to time on American and Australian screens, alike. Most Japanese game shows are actually about getting "celebrities" (and you can be a celebrity simply by appearing on enough game shows) to play silly word puzzles. They're really cheesy. (Of course, there's also some of the other type.) The pseudo-orangeade full of wasabi was hilarious in that it was a joke you thought you could see coming yet turned out much funnier. In many ways, Godzilla grabbing the plane on the flight home removed all ambiguity about the episode's intentions -- and was very funny besides.



26th July, 1999

The August Foxtel Guide arrived on Friday, so I've been able to verify my predictions for August and make a few for September. The only change next month is the addition of an 8:00am timeslot weekdays, accomodating a second episode each day. The first of two episodes each weekday will air at 7:00am alone; the second at 8:00am (after an episode of The Nanny), repeated at 7:00pm.



22nd July, 1999

Ten's brought back The Simpsons on Sunday nights, this time another half hour earlier, at 6:30pm. (As one of my visitors pointed out, at the rate we're going, The Simpsons will be on at 2:00am by the end of the year.)

The other thing to note is that Ten have tacked the "missing" Season Six episodes on to the end of the season (rather than showing them in their correct positions). At least, that's how it appears. I'm not certain in which order these three will air, nor if all three will be screened. And I don't know if we'll move into Season Seven proper afterwards. What I'm trying to say is, take my weekday stripping predictions with a grain of salt until next Thursday.

They Saved Lisa's Brain: Sadly, an unremarkable episode with a predictable conclusion. I actually watched the first half of the episode a second time and found it more satisfying, but that's no excuse. Perhaps I sympathise too closely with Lisa on this one. Quimby's flight was amusing, as were Burns and Smithers in a horse costume, but not much else caught my imagination.



15th July, 1999

Ten's Sunday Simpsons looks like it's gone for good (at least, for a while). I've added a Simpsons Mini-Guide, which is effectively a pre-formed query at Sofcom's TV Guide. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be picking up episodes on Ten at the moment. Episode titles are also omitted.

I've had confirmation from Ten that Homer to the Max is indeed slated to air as the season finale in a couple of weeks' time. The following week, two episodes, from Seasons Two and Nine will apparently air. I'll attempt to verify closer to the day.

The Simpsons Archive reports that a special edition of Songs in the Key of Springfield is being prepared, along with the long-lost Go Simpsonic and maybe a third album. Which of these will reach Australia and when is as clear as ever.



8th July, 1999

Ten is screening another repeat of The Simpsons next Wednesday, presumably because of school holidays, and they've dropped the Sunday timeslot in favour of a new show: Brother's Keeper. I've adjusted the relevant pages accordingly.

The Old Man and the "C" Student: A few prize moments from an entertaining episode: Homer wrapping the real Snowball II in papier mache as an Olympic mascot. the Springfield tyre fire finally being extinguished (and later relit). The really crappy Olympics song. Bart losing Springfield the Olympics (though the how was pretty ordinary). Homer inventing a self-flipping hamburger pan from all his extra springs (I actually thought his mascot looked a lot better than Sydney's stuffed, little zoo). Attaching springs to Maggie so she bounces when she's dropped (about time Maggie made another humorous cameo). And of course the Titanic-like sinking of the oldies' cruise boat -- and its subsequent reemergence. Not a bad episode at all!

Monty Can't Buy Me Love: Not quite as much fun as last week, but far more bizarre. The premise of Mr Burns suddenly seeking popularity was certainly novel, but it again made for some great moments. In fact I don't think Monty's been this funny for a very long time. For a start, his dealing with the crowd led to the comic book guy getting caught on Burns's cowcatcher, then Flanders was electrocuted with a cattle prod -- twice! Then Mr Burns super-size cheque, so carefully folded to pocket size, unfolded itself, step-by-step in Homer's back pocket. Clearly, Homer also featured strongly. I loved his juggling of plutonium rods (or was it inanimate carbon...), which promptly exploded when Burns distracted him into dropping them. I enjoyed the Loch Ness monster, and Homer's hunt for it (in the local pub). The ending, putting Nessie in a casino made for a satisfying conclusion, even though it didn't appeal to me personally -- it's just nice that they included a proper ending with a decent lead-in. A couple of things to notice: the logo for Fortune Megastore looked a lot like Plant Hollywood's; and Nessie's colouring was not dissimilar to Barney's, though with a much-improved demeanor.


Australian Simpsons News Archive: First Half, 1999.



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Last Updated: 9-March-2000