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Last Updated: Friday, 29 April, 2005, 09:05 GMT 10:05 UK
Simpsons celebrates 350th episode
Producer Matt Groening and friends
The Simpsons' 350 episodes have spanned 16 years
The 350th episode of The Simpsons will be screened in the US on Sunday, with the show's producers keen to continue.

"I don't see any end in sight," creator Matt Groening said. "I want to get to 366 [shows] so we have one for every day of the year, including leap year."

Writers are already working on the next series, its 17th - a TV sitcom record.

Groening said the animated hit would keep going as long as they could keep surprising viewers. "That's what you're looking for in television - surprise."

He added he was "particularly proud" of recent episodes.

"I think they're as sharp and surprising as anything we've done since the beginning of the show," he said.

This past year, in my view, is one of the best we've had in a long time
Al Jean
Executive producer
In the 350th episode, Ray Romano from US sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond guest stars as the voice of Homer Simpson's new best friend.

The programme will be shown back-to-back with the 351st instalment, in which Albert Brooks voices a fitness camp instructor.

Almost 10 million viewers watch the show on the Fox network every Sunday.

The Simpsons cast, which includes Dan Castellaneta as Homer and Julie Kavner as Marge, have signed for three more series, according to executive producer Al Jean.

'Nothing lasts forever'

"I would consider it highly likely we will do those seasons," he said.

"Nothing lasts forever," he added. "But I do think this past year, in my view, is one of the best we've had in a long time."

Although The Simpsons has been on TV for more seasons than any other TV sitcom, it does not hold the record for episode count.

The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet was on air for 435 episodes over 14 years, while My Three Sons ended in 1972 after 380 episodes.

Other long-running shows include Dallas with 357 episodes and Alfred Hitchcock Presents with 361 episodes.


SEE ALSO:
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27 Feb 05 |  Entertainment
Simpsons' gay character is Patty
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Gervais writing Simpsons episode
23 Dec 04 |  Entertainment


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