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Arts and Entertainment

Someone Will Die This Season On 'The Simpsons'

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This year's 'Treehouse of Terror' Halloween opening is courtesy of Guillermo Del Toro. (Photo: Fox)
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The Simpsons will be bumping off a regular character this season. It'll be the long-running animated series' first fatality since Maude Flanders was bumped off 14 years ago.

Executive producer Al Jean made the announcement in a phone conference with the press to the 25th season debut of The Simpsons, Sun News reports.

Jean told The Hollywood Reporter today, "We are doing this story for the same reason we do all others—we think it has a good emotional through line." He added that the death might actually be bumped to next season: "The story will be produced this year though it may air in season 26."

His only hint was vague: "I'll give you a clue that the actor playing the character won an Emmy for playing that character, but I won't say who it is." Most of the actors have received Emmys over the years (with 14 Emmys in all, according to Vulture), so that's not much help.

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It could also be a recurring character, such as Sideshow Bob, voiced by Kelsey Grammer.

Vulture speculates that these are the characters in danger: Homer, Marge, Lisa, Bart, Sideshow Bob, Krusty the Clown, Willie, Sideshow Mel, Barney, Grampa Simpson, Itchy, Moe, Carl, Chief Wiggum, Apu, Johnny Tightlips, Bumblebee Man, Cletus, Comic Book Guy, Carl, Lou, Mrs. Krabappel, Rabbi Krustofsky and Princess Penelope (voiced by Anne Hathaway).

So Maggie, Lenny and Scratchy are apparently safe, as are Mayor Quimby and Professor Frink and Principal Skinner.

Other things to expect from this season:

Pan's Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro did the e opening to the annual "Treehouse of Terror" episode, which airs Oct. 6. "I would say—and I've met some people who like scary things—he is the greatest expert on horror movies that I have ever encountered. There are so many references in that opening, it's really brilliant," Jean said.

The season finale will be a Simpsons/Futurama cross-over. "It was really, really great to see Bender interacting with Homer," said Jean. (Will there be an exchange in which Bart says, "Eat my shorts!" while Bender invites him to "Kiss my shiny metal ass?")

The Comic Book Guy (who's had a surprising amount of hookups on the show, including Edna Krabappel and Agnes Skinner) will tie the knot. "The wedding is performed by Stan Lee. We have Stan Lee playing himself and Harlan Ellison playing himself in that episode. What was funny was that they both wanted to be funnier than the other. It was really exciting for me, as a nerd," Jean said.

Elisabeth Moss guest stars in an episode in which, Jean says, "Homer is stuck on an elevator with a pregnant woman and delivers her baby. She's grateful and she doesn't have a husband, so she names the baby Homer Jr. And Homer actually bonds with the baby better than his own [kids]."