Inside Television: The Simpsons Guy - the TV crossover we've all been waiting for?

This week Fox confirmed the TV event we've all been waiting for - ‘The Simpsons Guy’, a crossover episode featuring characters from both The Simpsons and Family Guy is due to air in September. That is the TV event we’ve all been waiting for, right?

The crossover show can be piquant treat for TV gormands, but it’s also be just a cheap way for a TV channel to use up leftover ingredients. Detectives in the various iterations of CSI are often to be found helping out on each other’s cases, the captains from different Star Trek series are forever leaping through black holes into each other’s realities and The Simpsons itself isn’t new to the ratings-boosting gimmick.

A Futurama/ Simpson’s episode is also scheduled for later this year and back in 1995 there was controversial collaboration with another Fox animation, The Critic. The Simpsons creator Matt Groening took his name of the finished episode, saying he feared it would be perceived as “nothing more than a pathetic attempt to...advertise The Critic at the expense of the integrity of The Simpsons“. 

Well, yes. Far more satisfying to fans, are those which expanded the universe of the shows by making sense of connections - like when Fraiser’s old drinking buddies from Cheers would make the trip over to Seattle. If Patsy and Edina from Absolutely Fabulous were visiting the States, it makes intuitive sense that they’d end up downing cocktails in the ladies loo with Roseanne Conner and her sister Jackie, as happened in a 1997 Roseanne crossover. When their hostess eventually passed out drunk, Patsy was unimpressed: “To be blunt, darling, you’re about three rounds behind us.” GB 1, USA 0.

There another opportunity for cultural comparisons in the 2010 episode of ‘East Street’, a Children in Need special featuring characters from both London-set EastEnders and Manchester-set Coronation Street. On that occasion it turned out North and South had much in common. Barmaids Kat Slater and Liz McDonald shared pint-pulling duties in matching leopard print minis, while Gail McIntyre and Denise Fox compared notes on their murderous ex-husbands: “But did he actually drive you into the canal? Mine did.”

None of these individual episodes can compare, however, to TV’s unchallenged crossover king; Detective John Munch, as played by Richard Belzer. This cultured, sarcastic officer of the law originated in the police procedural Homicide: Life on the Street in 1993 before joining an entirely different cop show, Law and Order: SVU in 1999. Detective Munch has also popped up in The Wire, The X Files and Arrested Development and in a 2010 episode of BBC cop show Luther, DCI John Luther (Idris Elba) mentions Munch as his liaison “in New York’s Special Victims Unit”.  If Groening wants to make ‘The Simpson’s Guy’ a crossover that’s credible, he could do worse than write in the hardest working cop in showbusiness.

A TV match made in heaven

I pity people who live in countries where Sarah Lancashire isn’t a stalwart of television drama. The fools don’t even know what they’re missing. Lancashire-born Lancashire made her name as squeaky-voiced barmaid and aspiring model Raquel in Coronation Street, a role so iconic it could easily have been career-defining. Since 1996, however, she’s proved her versatility in a string of short-running series and one-off TV movies. Yet, until she formed a creative partnership with writer Sally Wainwright, we still didn’t know quite what she was capable of.

As viewers of BBC One’s Happy Valley can attest Wainwright’s dialogue never sounded better than when spoken by Lancashire, and Lancashire’s best work is founded on Wainwright’s scripts. It’s Scorsese and De Niro. It’s Herzog and Kinski. Only, y’know, in a Tuesday night BBC drama.

CATCH UP

Happy Valley, BBC iPlayer

If you haven’t already become deeply enmeshed in this nerve-shredding series, now’s the time. Detective Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) is a character to both sympathise with and admire. If she can’t sort out the trouble in this Yorkshire town, no one can. Gripping plot twists and darkly humorous dialogue are supplied by Last Tango in Halifax writer, Sally Wainwright.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0435kfx/happy-valley-episode-2

People Just Do Nothing, BBC iPlayer

This mockumentary about pirate radio station, Kurupt FM is the first iPlayer-originated comedy to be shown in full online before its broadcast on BBC Three. A sign of things to come, then, for the channel and, luckily, it’s pretty good. Think Phone Shop meets Spinal Tap.

24 Hours To Go Broke, Dave on Demand

The format of this new show - two wealthy comedians fritter away money in a poverty-striken foreign city - should be offensive, and it is. But it can’t be denied that 24 Hours To Go Broke also works well as an entertaining and informative travel show. In this first episode we learnt that David Baddiel’s 2010 comedy film The Infidel was a big hit in Armenia. Who knew?

http://dave.uktv.co.uk/on-demand/

F**k, That’s Delicious

International youth conglomerate VICE, have just launched Munchies, a new digital video channel dedicated to food content. One of the early highlights is this 10-minute show presented by Action Bronson. Mr Bronson is a rapper, a former chef and, most importantly, a big, fat bloke, so when he shouts “[expletive], that’s delicious!” about a slice of pizza, you know you can trust him.

http://munchies.vice.com/videos/fuck-thats-delicious-episode-1/

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Thomas carried Lady Edith over the flames in her bedroom in Downton Abbey series five

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, seated next to a picture of his missing wife Amy, played by Rosamund Pike

film
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene

Friends 20th anniversary
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham

books
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey

There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turning

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Chloe-Jasmine Whicello impressed the judges and the audience at Wembley Arena with a sultry performance
TVReview: Who'd have known Simon was such a Roger Rabbit fan?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits