'The Simpsons' Producer Wants a Live-Action Movie For 'The Critic'

The Critic, one of FOX's earliest attempts at a primetime animated sitcom following the success of [...]

The Critic, one of FOX's earliest attempts at a primetime animated sitcom following the success of The Simpsons, premiered 25 years ago this week -- and writer/producer Al Jean still wishes the series could get a movie.

In fact, he suggested on Twitter that the series, which starred Jon Lovitz as sarcastic film critic Jay Sherman, should get a live-action movie.

Presumably, Lovitz (who has reprised the role of Sherman on The Simpsons as well) would be the only choice to play the character in real life, although it is difficult to guess who would play the rest of the cast, since animated series do not have to cast people who look like their characters (and even if they did, 25 years later that would likely not hold true).

After saying that he wished there was a live-action version coming, Jean included a YouTube link to an unofficial video featuring the song "Beauty and King Dork," a riff on the big dance sequence from Disney's then-new Beauty and the Beast. It could be that he wasn't even really serious about the live-action hopes and was just joking about the live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, which came out in 2017, 26 years after the original animated classic.

It is also no surprise that the video Jean linked to is an unofficial one; the series is widely available in low-quality bootlegs on YouTube, and FOX does not seem interested in pursuing any kind of takedown strategy against uploaders.

The series is available in an inexpensive "Complete Series" DVD set, originally released in 2004, but has never been made available digitally, either for sale or to stream on demand. Many TV series from that era have issues with home video rights or music clearances, although it might just be that FOX does not believe there is an audience for a show -- even one seen as a cult classic -- that is 25 years old and was cancelled after two seasons.

The Critic premiered on January 26, 1994, and ran for two seasons and 33 episodes. Its brand of absurd, pop-culture observational humor a jolt to the system at that time, but shows with similar sensibilities have become commonplace in the years since it was cancelled.

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