Where once The Flintstones and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet were the longest-running prime-time animated and live action sitcoms in the United States, both those records now belong to The Simpsons.
The comedy also became the longest-running American scripted primetime series ever when it bested Gunsmoke‘s 20 seasons. That was nine years ago, but it took until this Sunday for The Simpsons to beat the western’s total number of episodes.
On March 31, 1975, Gunsmoke aired its 635th and finale episode. On April 29, 2018, The Simpsons will hit episode 636 with “Forgive and Regret”.
“We never dreamed we’d get this far,” said executive producer Al Jean. “After we aired 635 this past Sunday, I was pretty confident. I thought if we made it, it would be a marvelous tribute to the writers, animators, and cast who work so hard; and particularly to the wonderful fans who’ve stuck with us all these years.” He added, “The record-breaker on Sunday is a small touching story reminiscent of the early seasons, with a couple of Easter eggs for fans.”