February 15, 2012 9:32pm PT by THR Staff
THR Goes Behind the Scenes of 'The Simpsons' 500th Episode; Fans Set World Record (Exclusive Video)
The Simpsons airs its landmark 500th episode this Sunday -- and its fans are celebrating by setting a world record.
Jeremiah Franco and Carin Shreve broke the Guinness World Record for the longest continuous television viewing by watching all the episodes of the animated Fox comedy, taking them 86 hours and 37 minutes to do so. That translates to more than three and a half days.
It's a telling sign that the series, in its 23rd season, has avid fans. The record was set after Fox invited viewers of the show to partcipate in a challenge that had them watching up to 500 episodes back-to-back.
"The Simpsons came from the old world of television," one-time series writer O'Brien told THR. "Fox was an upstart, it was just the big three networks and The Cosby Show was still dominant. And now, 23 years later, we’re living in this world of 650,000 channels and literally nine cake shows. And yet The Simpsons is still with us. It’s probably the only real bridge from the old world of media into the new world of media."
The Simpsons' 500th episode, "At Long Last Leave," centers on the Simpsons family getting evicted from Springfield and join an off-the-grid community outside of town. But when Homer and Marge try to return to Springfield, their friends give them a hostile welcome.