And so it d'ohs

MIPCOM salutes two decades of 'The Simpsons'

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Jerry Seinfeld, Joan Rivers and Bart Simpson will all be rubbing shoulders on the French Riviera next week.

The comedian will be on hand to tubthump a format called "The Marriage Ref"; Rivers will perform stand-up and munch canapes on the Croisette to launch her comedy show on MTV; and Bart's there because "The Simpsons" is being feted for being, well, "The Simpsons."

"The Simpsons" is inarguably the most lucrative TV franchise in history -- think a primetime series for 20 years, a movie, DVDs, merchandising, online spinoffs, every last episode under contract worldwide. The show's creators -- Matt Groening and Al Jean -- are being feted with MIPCOM's inaugural creative icon award and Fox is planning "Simpsonesque" shenanigans on the Croisette.

Other highlights of the five-day bazaar include an accent on online gaming companies, a deeper look at the format business and a spotlight on Africa.

Keynoters include TiVo's Tom Rogers, Publicis' Richard Pinder and Fremantle's Tony Cohen.
Reed Midem TV topper Laurine Garaude says this year's theme is "rethinking the biz."
"It's all about matchmaking so that in every aspect of the TV biz working with others starts at an earlier stage," she says.

To wit: Opening session Oct. 5 is an entertainment master class with the title "How to MIP It."

-- Elizabeth Guider