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Tuesday, 30 April, 2002, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
Simpsons creator predicts show's end
The Simpsons is now into its 13th series
The Simpsons is now into its 13th series
The creator of The Simpsons has dropped the first hint that the hit cartoon series may soon be coming to an end.

Matt Groening has been the inspiration behind Homer and his family since 1990, when they got their first regular show.

When any character is as stupid as Homer Simpson, it's hard to keep surprising the audience

Matt Groening
It is now seen by 60 million people worldwide.

He told the Financial Times newspaper that he is a step closer to winding up the yellow cartoon family.

Groening was recently in the UK to make an appearance at the Animated Encounters festival in Bristol.

He said: "It becomes increasingly difficult as the years go by to keep on not only surprising the audience, but surprising ourselves.

"Although what happens generally if we win the Emmy for best animation show is that that gives us another couple of years to run it into the ground."

That may worry Channel 4 who recently bought the terrestrial TV rights to The Simpsons from the BBC for a reported 700,000 a show.

They will screen the 12th and 13th series.

Groening upset at Futurama's cancellation
Groening is upset at Futurama's cancellation
Groening said The Simpsons will have to come to an end sometime.

"Because animation is such an intensely painstaking process, it wears people out, and audiences are always looking for surprises.

"When any character is as stupid as Homer Simpson, it's hard to keep surprising the audience."

Groening admitted he has a troubled relationship with Fox television who show both The Simpsons and his other creation Futurama in the US.


He said that despite making $1bn (686m) for the network there is only "a trace of a smile in their faces when I walk into the room".

He is upset after the cancellation of Futurama, his futuristic cartoon follow-up to Bart and Homer.

The series, which is shown on Sky One and Channel 4 in the UK, has been axed after four series, although there is a campaign to keep the show on air.

More than 110,000 fans have signed an internet campaign to save the show.

He said: "They (Fox) haven't really supported it. I think it's a worthy companion to The Simpsons and we're really proud of it. But Fox gave it a bad slot and zero promotion for the last three years."

BBCi Bristol spoke to Matt GroeningBBCi Bristol
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