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British Broadcasting Corporation

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British Broadcasting Corporation (mostly referred to as BBC) was the channel which used to broadcast The Simpsons, on terrestrial television in the United Kingdom, from November 1996 until May 2004, after they were outbid in February 2002, by Channel 4, whom later gained the rights to air it.

In November 1996, the channel acquired the rights to the series, and it was shown at a teatime slot on BBC One, until March 1997, when BBC Two aired it at the same time as usual.

In June 2000, BBC Two had The Simpsons Night, where they premièred most of the episodes from Season 7. Two specials, entitled The Simpsons: America's First Family & My Wasted Life were also aired that night, the latter envolving about Matt Groening's childhood and inspirations.

In February 2002, the BBC lost the rights to air the Simpsons, with the final episode airing in May 2004. However, broadcasting rights were held until 2006. The channel was outbid by Channel 4, whom starting showing the series in November 2004. In May 2005, this event was referenced on Dead Ringers, in which a false continuity announcement was given out, regarding the fact they no longer aired The Simpsons, and that they now showed a double feature of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (a common fixture to weeknights on BBC Two, where the Simpsons was always followed by The Fresh Prince).

Over the course of the show airing on BBC Two, it averaged around 3 million viewers per episode.[1] In October 1998, it reached a peak of 4.58 million.[2]

On Friday 23rd June 2000, during The Simpsons Night, two idents aired on BBC Two: [1]

  • In a parody to the opening title sequence, a yellow-coloured 2 is zooming into the camera, cracking it on a sky background.
  • There is a power cut in The Simpsons household. When the lights are back on, The Simpsons are all shaped as a 2.

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