The cast of ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â“GleeÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â” has checked in everywhere from the White House to the set of "Oprah," and now the McKinley High crew is headed to the land of Springfield.
ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â“The SimpsonsÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â” showrunner Al Jean let the the news slip during a panel for the animated favorite Saturday afternoon.
In a panel that also included creator Matt Groening, executive producer Matt Selman and supervising director Mike Anderson, Jean announced that in an episode in the show's upcoming record-breaking 22nd season this fall, the town of Springfield will be greeted by the animated likenesses of our favorite ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â“GleeÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â” club. There was no word on if they are going to sketch up a yellow-hued version of Sue Sylvester.
Other guest stars slated for the season are Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, Cheech and Chong, Hugh Lourie and Wallace and Gromit.
Fans who packed the convention hall were treated to a sneak peek of the upcoming ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â“Treehouse of HorrorÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â” episode, which showed board games coming to life and wreaking havoc on the town. The short teaser was met with thunderous applause. There was a bit of confusion about another teaser, the Christmas episode, which Groening said shows the Simpson family in a way they havenÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’t been done before -- as puppets.
With the show recently celebrating its 20th anniversary and Homer scoring the title of the greatest character of the past 20 years, itÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’s no surprise many of the burning questions from fans were about the showÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’s staying power.
ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â“As long as families keep having problems, we have stories,ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â” Jean said. ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â“The hardest thing at this point is thinking of plots we havenÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’t done. IÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’d be lying if I said it wasnÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’t hard.ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â”
Groening said the crew owes much of the showÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’s longevity to the rich vault of supporting players.
ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â“I donÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’t think there is a problem with ideas. We have so many characters -- what is there, like 50?ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â” he asked his colleagues. ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â“One of the great things about animation is it creates a dream world. ThatÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’s fun for me as an animator.ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â”
Jean had a simpler answer.
ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â“Really, there is no end in sight,ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â” Jean said.
As for talks of a spin-off show (like ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â“The Cleveland ShowÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â” the emerged from "Family Guy") or another feature film, the crew didnÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’t rule it out. They also took the opportunity to take a jab at their Sunday night competition.
ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â“Come on, Seth MacFarlane does one show three times,ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â” Selman joked before later adding, ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â“Those shows are all really funny -- they deserve to exist ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â… why canÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’t I be genuine?ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â”