TVNewser FishbowlDC AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote PRNewser SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Posts Tagged ‘Matt Groening’

Familiar Names in Obit of Matt Groening’s Mother

The obit of Matt Groening‘s mother, Margaret Ruth, is circulating around the Web because of some familiar names from the town of Springfield.

The creator of The Simpsons clearly was influenced by his family when it was time to name the characters on the show.

Groening had a Marge (Margaret), Homer, Lisa, Maggie and Patty in his family and his mother’s maiden name was Wiggum — the last name of Ralph and Chief Wiggum.

[H/T Bleeding Cool]

Mediabistro Course

Travel Writing

Travel WritingStarting September 23, learn how to turn your travel stories into published essays and articles! Taught by a former Vanity Fair staff writer, James Sturz will teach you how to report, interview, and find sources, discover story ideas and pitch them successfully, and understand what travel editors look for in a story. Register now! 

Matt Groening: ‘If Life in Hell Were Still in LA Weekly, It Would Probably Have Kept Me Going.’

When Matt Groening retired his weekly “Life in Hell” comic strip in June after 32 years, it was running in just 38 papers, down from 380 in its heyday. The low circulation numbers were a big part of why Groening threw in the towel, but as the cartoonist explains to Editor & Publisher, being cut out of his hometown paper was of special consequence:

It was particularly aggravating that I wasn’t being printed locally in Los Angeles. “Life in Hell” was cut out of LA Weekly, along with other cartoons.

I’d draw the strip, send it out, and wouldn’t see it reprinted anywhere. If “Life in Hell” were still in LA Weekly, it would probably have kept me going.

The LA Weekly dropped “Life in Hell” in 2009 as a cost-cutting measure. Cutting the strip saved the paper $18 a week.

Read the full interview, conducted by Rob Tornoe, at the Editor & Publisher website.

After 32 Years, Matt Groening Retires ‘Life in Hell’

The weekly comic strip by Simpsons and Futurama creator Matt Groening once ran in 379 newspapers. But “Life in Hell” was a victim of severe cutbacks in the print industry, and now runs in just 38 papers. The last new strip ran Friday, and reruns will continue through July 13.

“Life in Hell” was born in Los Angeles, and helped launch Groening’s television career. From Poynter:

It started running in Wet Magazine in 1978, then moved to the now-defunct LA Reader, where Groening worked. The strip eventually made its way to LA Weekly. Its popularity grew, amassing a client list of more than 250 papers, when producer Polly Platt noticed “Life in Hell” and showed it to actor/producer James L. Brooks.

Brooks contacted Groening and wanted him to develop a series of “bumpers” based on “Life in Hell” for “The Tracey Ullman Show.” Groening was a bit apprehensive at the thought of handing over the rights to his characters, so he created the Simpsons to fill the slot.

Check out the full Poynter article here. It quotes yours truly, so naturally it’s an excellent read.

And an interesting factoid gleaned from a USA Today article on the subject – Groening used to be roommates with LA Weekly managing editor Jill Stewart! Please, Ms. Stewart, dish.

Matt Groening Donates $500,000 to UCLA

The Simpsons creator Matt Groening has donated $500,000 to the UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television (TFT).

Groening, 57, will fund The Matt Groening Chair in Animation. The endowment will allow the TFT animation program to bring in visiting professors and working professionals to teach classes and work with students.

“Matt Groening is recognized globally as a preeminent and pioneering animator, storyteller, cartoonist, writer and producer,” Dean Teri Schwartz said in a statement.  His groundbreaking animated series have truly changed the landscape of television and have become a gold standard for animation and great storytelling throughout the entertainment industry.”

The Simpsons Producers Agree to Pay Cut

The future of The Simpsons took a step in the right direction Wednesday when some of the top producers from the Fox cartoon agreed to a pay cut, according to Andrew Wallenstein of Variety:

“Exec producers for The Simpsons include Al Jean, John Frink, James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Matt Selman and Sam Simon. It unknown whether all have committed to the reduction in compensation or whether that request extended below the EP level.

Reps for top Simpsons producers either declined comment or calls were not returned.

Read more

Could This Be the Last Season of The Simpsons?

Remember that wacky idea about The Simpsons TV channel when the show goes off the air? Well, it could happen sooner than later.

The popular Fox cartoon could come to an end this spring after 23 seasons thanks to a nasty contract dispute, according to Lloyd Grove of The Daily Beast:

“The reason is a negotiating impasse between the studio and the six principal actors who voice the beloved characters on the animated series that hilariously satirizes middle-class Midwestern angst.

Read more

Are The Simpsons Getting Their Own TV Channel?

News Corp. chief operating officer Chase Carey tossed out an idea Tuesday at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media Communications & Entertainment Conference in Beverly Hills — a television channel devoted to just The Simpsons.

With the show entering its 23rd season starting on Sept. 25, Carey and Fox are brainstorming ideas on how to generate additional revenue for the Matt Groening cartoon.

One of those ideas is a channel that features nothing but The Simpsons, which airs their 500th episode later this season.

Even if this longshot idea comes to fruition, fans of Homer, Marge, Lisa, Bart and Maggie will have to wait until the show ends on Fox as current syndication rerun deals would prevent the launch of the channel.

D’oh!

Santa Barbara’s Unlikeliest Media Moguls

It’s been a long time coming, but the cat is now completely out of the bag with regards to Lynda.com, a fee-based educational website launched in 1995. The Carpinteria headquartered company was the first ever title sponsor at this year’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival and in May, got a full five minutes of on-air attention from product sampler Howard Stern.

The company’s remarkably savvy evolution from humble website and classroom beginnings in Ojai is wonderfully charted today in the Santa Barbara Independent by D.J. Palladino. Co-founder Lynda Weinman, who oversees the operation with husband Bruce Healin (pictured), went to high school in Sherman Oaks with Simpsons creator Matt Groening. Early on, she tried her hand in LA at a more conventional commercial model:

After college came retail back in Los Angeles, first a museum gift shop and then her own two clothing stores called Vertigo on Sunset and Melrose, founded on a $20,000 loan from her grandfather. “I went out of business,” she said grimly, but added, “I learned what a terrible model retail is.” There’s much less waste, she’d later discover, in cyberspace.

Read more

eBay Gem: A Pre-Simpsons Matt Groening and His ‘Smurf House’

binky22.jpg
There’s an Ebay auction for a signed 1st sdition Life in Hell book. The seller used to work at the gas company and met Matt Groening when his gas was about to be shut off.

In describing how he got the item, the seller described Groening’s cottage in Venice as a “Smurf House.”

He also writes this:

Matt invited me inside. He said he was working on the strip and asked if I would like to see it. Matt was a bachelor then. His house looked bachelorish. Sketches everywhere. A cat, maybe two, maybe his, maybe not.

It’s super cool. The auction is here. There’s only two days left of the sale so we posted the entire text after the break.

Many thanks to our anonymous tipster for this one.

Read more

The Simpsons On A Postage Stamp

simpsons.jpgFOX’s animated TV series The Simpsons will soon be making their way to an envelope near you. The Hollywood Reporter tells us:

The 44-cent first-class mail stamps, designed by Simpsons creator and executive producer Matt Groening, will feature Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson.

The stamps, a sneak peek for which will be unveiled April 9, also will help celebrate the longest-running primetime comedy’s 20th anniversary this year.

The Postal Service receives about 50,000 stamp suggestions per year, but only about 20 ideas make the cut, the companies said.

“This has been a dream for Fox and ‘The Simpsons’ creative teams for some time, and we’ve finally made the cut!” said Elie Dekel, executive vp licensing and merchandising at News Corp.’s 20th Century Fox licensing and merchandising unit.

NEXT PAGE >>