As Simpsons superfans know, Simpsons reruns that you can watch at various hours of the day and night in TV markets around the country are, in most cases, not the full, original episodes: They are typically shortened for syndication. The fan-run Simpsons Archive even maintains a guide to all the scenes that have been cut in syndication for episodes from Seasons 1 through 20.
As the Archive explains in its handy FAQ, episodes are shortened so that the stations airing the reruns can squeeze in more commercials.
But to the delight, presumably, of Simpsons fans everywhere, the much-ballyhooed FXX marathon of #EverySimpsonsEver will air the original, uncut versions of the episodes. Michael Price, a writer for The Simpsons, explained this Tuesday on Twitter, answering a question from former Simpsons writer Bill Oakley:
@thatbilloakley Here's the real deal: The marathon and future special event things like say Halloween mini-marathons will be original. (1/2)-- Michael Price (@mikepriceinla) August 19, 2014
@thatbilloakley Shows aired in regular FXX rotation will be syndication cuts. (2/2)-- Michael Price (@mikepriceinla) August 19, 2014
This seems particularly notable for an episode like “The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson,” which originally aired in 1997 and was pulled completely from syndication for several years after Sept. 11. (The World Trade Center is featured prominently in the episode.) When it returned, people noticed that there were cuts in the syndicated version.
I asked FXX which versions will run on the network, and they confirmed what Price said on Twitter: The marathon will feature full, uncut versions of the episodes, while syndicated versions will run after that.
And, by the way, for fans who really want to geek out, Price is also addressing, on Twitter, things like which aspect ratio will be used for earlier episodes. (Apparently, on the forthcoming Simpsons World app, “there will be an option to watch older shows in original 4x3.”)