Is Simpsons creator Matt Groening going to Hell for Netflix?

Finally, something new from the man behind Homer and Marge.

Matt Groening and a hologram Homer Simpson
Mmmm, Netflix Matt Groening is leaving Homer behind to get into streaming. Image Picture Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Simpsons creator Matt Groening is the latest big name creator heading to Netflix.

The man behind Homer and Marge has reportedly signed up to make an animated show for the streaming service, with a guarantee of 20 episodes spanning across two seasons already in the bag.

Details on Groening’s new comedy are being kept top secret, but it will be only his third major TV series after The Simpsons and sci-fi Futurama. There’s no news yet as to when it will be on screen.

With close to 600 Simpsons episodes, Groening has very much had his hands full with Springfield. However, it looks like the end of Futurama in 2013 has freed up some time for the animation mogul to venture into new territory.

Groening seems a natural fit for Netflix, who have a solid roster of animated comedies and will no doubt see the signing of The Simpsons creator as a major coup.

Netflix’s current stable boasts BoJack Horseman, about a washed-up sitcom star who just happens to be an anthropomorphic horse; the 70s-set F Is For Family from stand-up comedian Bill Burr; and Green Eggs And Ham, based on Dr Seuss’s children’s book which is due to launch in 2018.

Groening’s new show might be under wraps, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility that he could be reviving his cult cartoon strip Life In Hell in animated form.

Groening began self-publishing the weekly comic – about a depressed rabbit called Binky – back in 1977 and continued to draw it until 2012.

In fact, Groening’s initial pitch meetings for animated segments on The Tracey Ullman Show were about Life In Hell. Only later did he latch onto the idea of spinning his own childhood experiences into The Simpsons, which launched on Ullman’s sketch show.

In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2012, Groening addressed the longevity of his underground comic and why it meant a lot to him.

“When I started doing the comic strip, it was a great forum for all of my creativity. I’d think about the comic strip all week, spend a day drawing it, and then start thinking about the next one. It was my complete and total focus,” he explained.

“Then The Simpsons came along to preoccupy me, and I decided to see how long I could keep the comic strip going. Actually, a TV producer sneered at the strip and said, ‘Why do you bother? Give it up.’ Because of that, I dug in my heels and kept it going two decades longer than I might have.”

Whatever Groening ends up doing next, with Netflix in his corner expect it to launch with some serious hype and sky-high expectations.

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn

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