Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

The Simpsons (season 4)

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Covid-19
Country of origin  United States
Original network  Fox
No. of episodes  22
Original release  September 24, 1992 (1992-09-24) – May 13, 1993 (1993-05-13)

The Simpsons' fourth season originally aired on the Fox network between September 24, 1992 and May 13, 1993, beginning with "Kamp Krusty". The showrunners for the fourth production season were Al Jean and Mike Reiss. The aired season contained two episodes which were hold-over episodes from season three, which Jean and Reiss also ran. Following the end of the production of the season, Jean, Reiss and most of the original writing staff left the show. The season was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards and Dan Castellaneta would win one for his performance as Homer in "Mr. Plow". The fourth season was released on DVD in Region 1 on June 15, 2004, Region 2 on August 2, 2004 and in Region 4 on August 25, 2004.

Contents

Development

The season was executive produced by Al Jean and Mike Reiss, who had also run the previous season. Several of the show's original writers who had been with the show since the first season left following the completion of the season's production run. "Cape Feare" which was the final episode to be produced by the "original team" aired during season five as a holdover. Jay Kogen, Wallace Wolodarsky and Jeff Martin wrote their final episodes for the season four production run. David M. Stern and Jon Vitti also left but returned to write episodes for later seasons. Reiss and Jean left to produce their own series, The Critic but later returned to produce several more The Simpsons episodes, and Jean again became the show runner starting with season thirteen. Rich Moore, one of the show's original directors, also left to work on The Critic, but returned years later to assist with animation on The Simpsons Movie. George Meyer and John Swartzwelder stayed on, while Conan O'Brien, Frank Mula and future show runners Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein received their first writing credits. One-time writers for the season include Adam I. Lapidus and the team of Gary Apple and Michael Carrington, although Carrington later returned to voice characters in "Simpson Tide" and "Million Dollar Abie".

Sam Simon, who had been showrunner for the show's first two seasons, had assembled the original writing team, had been the series' creative supervisor from its inception, and has been credited as "developing [the show's] sensibility", departed at the end of season four. Simon was involved in a series of creative disputes with the show's creator Matt Groening, producer James L. Brooks and production company Gracie Films. Simon commented that he "wasn't enjoying it anymore," and "that any show I've ever worked on, it turns me into a monster. I go crazy. I hate myself." Before leaving, he negotiated a deal that saw him receive a share of the show's profits every year and an executive producer credit despite not having worked on the show since then until his death.

This season's production run (9F) was the first to be animated by Film Roman, after Gracie Films opted to switch domestic production of the series from Klasky Csupo. Sharon Bernstein of the Los Angeles Times wrote that "Gracie executives had been unhappy with the producer Csupo had assigned to The Simpsons and said the company also hoped to obtain better wages and working conditions for animators at Film Roman." Klasky Csupo co-founder Gábor Csupó had been "asked [by Gracie Films] if they could bring in their own producer [to oversee the animation production]," but declined, stating "they wanted to tell me how to run my business." Simon commented that: "There won't be any change in the quality or look of the show. We're not going to compromise the quality of the show, and key creative personnel will continue on the show."

"A Streetcar Named Marge" and "Kamp Krusty" were holdovers from the previous season and so were the last of the Klasky Csupo produced episodes to air. Brooks suggested that the script for "Kamp Krusty" be expanded and produced as a feature-length theatrically released film. However, the episode ran very short, barely reaching the minimum length allowed, with the episode's musical number having to be lengthened by a number of verses. The episode had also been selected to be the season's premiere. As Jean told Brooks, "First of all, if we make it into the movie then we don't have a premiere, and second if we can't make 18 minutes out of this episode how are we supposed to make 80?" However, years later, a Simpsons film titled The Simpsons Movie was released in 2007.

Awards

1993 marked the first year that the producers of The Simpsons did not submit episodes for the "Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour)". Prior to this season, the series had only been allowed to compete in the animation category, but in early 1993 the rules were changed so that animated television shows would be able to submit nominations in the "Outstanding Comedy Series" category. The producers submitted "A Streetcar Named Marge" and "Mr. Plow" but the Emmy voters were hesitant to pit cartoons against live action programs, and The Simpsons did not receive a nomination. Several critics saw the show's failure to gain a nomination as one of the biggest snubs of that year. Dan Castellaneta was awarded an Emmy for "Outstanding Voice-Over Performance". "Treehouse of Horror III" was nominated for Emmys for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore)" (Alf Clausen) and "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or a Special".

The series won several other awards this season, including an Annie Award for "Best Animated Television Program", a Genesis Award for "Best Television Prime Time Animated Series" for the episode "Whacking Day" and a Saturn Award for "Best Television Series".

DVD release

The DVD boxset for season four was released by 20th Century Fox in the United States and Canada on June 15, 2004, eleven years after it had completed broadcast on television. As well as every episode from the season, the DVD release features bonus material including deleted scenes, Animatics, and commentaries for every episode. The menus are a different format than the previous seasons.

References

The Simpsons (season 4) Wikipedia


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