‘The Simpsons’ beats ‘Gunsmoke’, becomes longest-running scripted TV show in US

Los Angeles: “The Simpsons” has become the longest running scripted show in primetime American television history after airing its record-breaking 636th episode.

The episode was aired on Sunday, surpassing a record last set by “Gunsmoke”, reported Fox News. “Gunsmoke” started on radio in 1952 and eventually became a TV series that ran for 635 episodes from 1955 to 1975.

“The Simpson” focuses on a family of five – Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie – and their animated antics in the fictional town of Springfield.

In true “Simpsons” fashion, the show took aim at “Gunsmoke” — literally — in a gunfight battle between baby Maggie and Dillon at the end of last week’s show. At the end of that episode, Homer told the children that their series was about to pass “Gunsmoke”.

“The Simpsons” has won 32 Emmy Awards, 34 Annie Awards and a 2016 People’s Choice Award, according to the show’s website. It was the first animated series to win a Peabody Award, and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2012 for the theatrical short “The Longest Daycare”.

The show has been in news of late after it raked up a controversy over stereotyping of Indians in America’s popular culture.

It featured a South Asian character called Apu, who has had to grapple with the troubling stereotype of a convenience store clerk with an exaggerated, fake Indian accent since the show’s existence.

The documentary “The Problem With Apu” touched upon how “The Simpsons” damaged the South Asian caricature. The makers of the latter show have since addressed the controversy.