Almost 30 years on, the yellow dysfunctional family with as many quirks as they do odd-ball neighbours continue to pull millions of viewers in for their weekly appearances. That kind of endurance is unprecedented for a scripted show and the fact that it's an animation is doubly impressive.
Times have changed for The Simpsons: back when the show started, it was regularly pulling in around 30 million viewers, but when the current season opened with the promise of a major character death (something of a lie, since Krusty's Dad wasn't exactly main billed) it managed just 8.5 million. That's in no way something to be embarrassed about considering the first season of The Big Bang Theory picked up just under 9 million.
But that's still a considerable drop, giving fans who say it's never been as good as the Good Old Days ample ammunition to snipe. There may actually be something in the theory, as the highest watched episodes - all breaking the 25 million viewer barrier - came a long, long time ago. But was it a case of newness or greatness?