Last night on FOX, The Simpsons ushered in a new era. After 20 years, The Simpsons had their Sunday night premier in High Definition. And with it came a much bigger development: A brand new main title open and already tens of thousands of comments across the blogosphere debating the implications. And with 2009 main title season pitch presentations already underway, seems like Homer and gang might have provided a quiet reminder of the influence that our title design efforts hold in the public domain.
It is the first significant revamp of the title sequence since 1989. The open takes advantage of the generous HD panorama and featured an extended couch gag of the Simpsons chasing their couch across the world, as well as into space. While some of the old parts remain (Bart still writes on the chalk board, Lisa still saxes her way out of music class, and Homer still throws radioactive material down his shirt) most of it has changed to catch up on 20-seasons worth of character additions.
The last time the open garnered so much attention was for Sky One’s live-action recreation of the iconic title, directed by Chris Palmer. Attached to the end of the UK sequence was the message “Come home to The Simpsons on Sky One” (which is not end-tagged to the youtube clip below). Because the live-action spot was made in the UK, there are some slight cultural differences including Homer and Marge driving on the left in the right hand side of the car and Chief Wiggum wearing a British police uniform.
With so much hubbub, perhaps we’ll see new main title refreshes on a weekly basis. How’s that for a stimulus plan for the broadcast design industry?