Homer and company are officially rolling in d'oh. After 24 seasons, the animated comedy is finally coming to cable, in what Deadline is calling the "priciest off-network pact ever." FXX will pay at least $750 million, and possibly as much as $1 billion, to acquire exclusive rights to rerun all existing seasons of the Simpsons, plus the current one when it wraps up. It'll also have the right to stream that entire library of episodes online, which is unprecedented for this kind of deal.
FXX, FX's new comedy-only spin-off network, is owned by the same company as Fox (which airs the Simpsons), and 20th Century Fox (which produces it), the New York Times points out. It's therefore something of a corporate win-win, though FXX got the rights only after what Deadline calls a "competitive situation" involving five networks. It took this long for the Springfield gang to hit cable because a 1993 syndication deal with local broadcasters forbade it—a concession stations demanded because they were skeptical of the animated sitcom's potential. (Read more The Simpsons stories.)