TV/STREAMING . . .

The Simpsons renewed for 2 more seasons, will pass 700 episodes. The Simpsons will remain on television -- a.k.a. teacher, mother, secret lover -- for a few more years. At least. The legendary animated family comedy, which boasts the claim of being the longest-running prime time scripted series ever, has received a two-season renewal from Fox, the network announced Wednesday at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena. Currently in its 30th season, the show will pass the 700-episode milestone in season 32, and the new deal takes the show through 713 episodes. The renewal also ends speculation for now that the show might be headed to a new home. Disney, which owns ABC, recently acquired 21st Century Fox, which includes 20th Century Fox TV, the studio that producers The Simpsons. The Simpsons -- which has nabbed 33 Emmy Awards and spawned a massively successful movie in 2007 -- began way back in 1987 as a series of shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show before being enlarged into a weekly series at the end of 1989. Last season, the Matt Groening-created series unveiled its 637th episode, passing western Gunsmoke to become the longest-running scripted series in TV history. (Episode 666, by the way, just happens to be season 31's Halloween episode, "Treehouse of Horror XXX.") The show -- whose voice cast includes Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Yeardley Smith, Nancy Cartwright, Harry Shearer and Hank Azaria -- has a season 30 guest roster that includes Gal Gadot, Will Forte, J.K. Simmons, Dave Matthews, Ken Burns, and Awkwafina. The Simpsons is currently averaging a 1.9 in the 18-to-49-year-old demographic and 4.8 million viewers per episode. (Entertainment Weekly)

Lethal Weapon Boss Explains Damon Wayans Claiming to Quit and Starting Over After Firing Clayne Crawford. Lethal Weapon was not an easy show to work on for the past year and a half. First, star Clayne Crawford was fired after problematic behavior on set, and replaced with Sean William Scott as a new character. Then, Damon Wayans claimed he was also leaving the Fox drama, but now everyone at Fox is claiming that things have vastly improved, especially after Wayans complained that he was having health problems that were making it hard to do his job. "It was a cry for help," Miller said. "We all sat down and we worked on some hours...things that could accommodate him." After making changes, Miller says "it has been a delight making this show." He said he didn't want to speak for Wayans, but he understood what the actor was going through. "It was tough for him. He's not a young guy, this is a crazy show to make... It's really, really grueling," Miller said, but ever since changes were made, Wayans has "had a smile on his face the entire time." Miller says that Wayans "is in Hawaii right now, he's got a big smile on his face, he thanked everyone, he got everyone these incredibly expensive jackets on the crew, and he and Seann got along great, it was really a charmed experience from that moment until right now." Miller made it sound like this problem was much easier to solve than the first problem, which resulted in Clayne Crawford being fired for his on-set behavior. "If you found me at this time last year, it's much different," he said. "I'm sprawled out on the floor, sucking my thumb, drooling. We touched bottom, you know. No one knew if the show was going to come back, and we obviously had some problems with the cast..." Miller says Fox gave the show a lifeline, allowing them to continue if they could resolve the problems themselves. "That allowed us to roll up our sleeves and come up with, 'how do you keep these things going?'" he said. "The premise is these two broken cops who need each other, and that hasn't changed." Seann William Scott came in as a replacement for Crawford in May, which allowed the show to be renewed for a third season. He was playing a completely new character, and his addition gave new life to the show, in a way. "I personally don't love a show that's stagnant," Miller said, going on to talk about the nature of procedurals. "The way that [procedurals] work is repetition. This is a show that's very much a character piece with a procedural element. For two seasons we played that hand really hard with these two guys." "We kinda ran that relationship into the ground," Miller admitted. "It was really an incredible gift to be able to relaunch a new version of that relationship, starting from scratch, with two characters that didn't know each other, with new sets of problems." Miller said he couldn't see the show going 10 seasons as many procedurals have, "because of the fact that this is this living, breathing kind of character thing that's gonna go...it has a shelf life to it, and that's OK with me." Lethal Weapon airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on Fox. (Eonline)

Bob Saget Thinks Fan Rebellion Might Keep Fuller House Going. Bob Saget is not quite ready to say goodbye to Fuller House. The show was renewed for a fifth and final season last week, and the cast was clearly not happy to say goodbye to their show, even if they were thrilled to at least get another season after cancellation rumors had been swirling for months. Now some, including Saget, are hoping that the fan uproar will help keep the show going past its fifth season. "Who knows if it's the last season?" Saget told E! News while promoting his new ABC series Videos After Dark at the TV Crtics' Association winter press tour. "I don't know. Fans are rebelling." When the news was first announced, Candace Cameron Bure admitted in an Instagram comment that the news was "bittersweet." "We are SO happy to be coming back for a 5th season AND for 18 episodes! But so sad we have to say farewell. We would love to do this show forever and ever but I guess it wasn't in the cards," she wrote. "I am happy that we can give the fans a proper ending, however I wish we didn't have to give one at all." A source close to the show told E! News that everyone is thrilled to come back for the fifth season because they were so close to being canceled altogether, and that for Netflix and the show's pacing, five seasons is a "perfect run." The fourth season just debuted debut in December, and Saget says the fifth season will start shooting soon. For all the details on his upcoming ABC series Videos After Dark, which is basically an edgier America's Funniest Home Videos featuring the original host! Fuller House streams on Netflix. (Eonline)

Shameless' Cameron Monaghan Explains His Return. Cameron Monaghan is indeed returning to Shameless. After Monaghan announced his exit last year and then left when his character went to prison, Showtime announced that Shameless would be back for season 10 with Monaghan in tow. Now, Monaghan is explaining why he's back. The actor was on hand to promote the final season of Fox's Gotham (he plays Not the Joker) at the TV Critics' Association press tour and spoke to reporters after the panel about why he left and why he has now decided to return for the entirety of season 10. "It got to the point where I wanted to step away for creative reasons as well as business, which many other actors had done on the show years earlier," Monaghan said. "But I took some time away, and I talked to John Wells, the show-runner about possible things we could do with the character in the future, and we got to a place both creatively and financially where I felt comfortable coming back, and much of that had to do with what we were going to do with the story." Monaghan said he could not say anything about exactly what his return will entail, as it hasn't been written yet. "I can't [say anything] because it entails things that aren't set yet," he said. "That writers room haven't been even opened yet, and contracts haven't been finished yet. So, until that point, I don't even fully know." Monaghan's exit announcement came after Emmy Rossum revealed that she was leaving, and Showtime confirmed she will not be back for season 10. Monaghan says the loss of her character will not change "the fabric of the show." "I don't feel like it changes the fabric of the show, because it is an ensemble cast, and because over the course of the last five to six years, characters have grown up and really branched out, and the stories have become very separate. It was very rare that I would get the privilege of acting with Emmy anymore. It's just one of those things. So obviously we're going to lose that thread, and that's a loss for us, but that being said, I feel like we have enough other characters and storylines, that across the board, they can absorb it, and it won't feel like too much of a change to the overall fabric of the show." Monaghan could not say if Ian will get a chance to have a final moment with Fiona, as "answering that would be a spoiler." He also could not say anything about the return of Mickey (Noel Gallagher), who was last seen in prison with Ian. "That is a question for Noel and the producers," he said, but "worrying" about Ian and Mickey is "not the right way to say that." As for what Ian is in for in the final season, Monaghan said that he hopes to see something a little different for his character. "I think that now we've really torn him down. i think it would be really interesting to see him, instead of just looking for a relationship or resolving relationship conflict to instead be working on himself and focusing in that capacity," he said. "So I'd like to see something outside just him searching and being single and hooking up with people, that kind of stuff." Many fans wondered about the future of the show with the departure of Rossum in particular, and Monaghan says that there are conversations every season about when it will end. "But to be honest, I think that a lot of people have signed on for multiple seasons, and I don't know if it's gonna be the last year or not. I think it depends on if people want to keep watching it." For now, Monaghan is signed on for season 10, but isn't ruling out continuing past that himself. "It's just a creative thing as much as it is financial, so it's one of those things that...it's just good business as well as looking after what I want to do." Shameless airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Showtime. (Eonline)

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