Episode - 4F20\\
First Aired - 5/11/1997

A ThreeShorts episode.

Troy [=McClure=] reveals that Fox is desperately trying to create new shows for their Sunday night line-up. At the time, the only Sunday night fare on FOX was ''Melrose Place'', ''TheSimpsons'', ''King of the Hill'', ''The X-Files'', and whatever forgettable flavor-of-the-month sitcom/drama/TV special FOX was pushing. The live-action shows ''{{Martin}}'', ''MarriedWithChildren'', and ''LivingSingle'' were either on their way to being canceled or already gone, and this episode was made before the days of ''Futurama'', SethMacFarlane's trio[[note]]''FamilyGuy'', ''AmericanDad'', and ''TheClevelandShow''[[/note]], ''BobsBurgers'', and all the live-action shows that revived and/or reinvented the network television sitcom, such as ''Malcolm in the Middle'', ''The Mindy Project'', ''New Girl'', ''Raising Hope'', ''BrooklynNineNine'', and the criminally [[ScrewedByTheNetwork screwed-over]] ''ArrestedDevelopment''.

Initially, FOX asked Matt Groening and his crew from ''The Simpsons'' to come up with a brand-new show. They didn't come up with any[[note]]though they would later with ''Futurama''[[/note]], but they ''did'' supply three pilots for ''Simpsons'' spinoffs:

'''Chief Wiggum P.I.''' (Police action shows from the 1970s and 1980s) -- The corrupt, now-former sheriff of Springfield, Clancy Wiggum, has gone into business for himself in New Orleans with Seymour Skinner (aching to return to his Big Easy roots) along for the ride. In this episode, Chief Wiggum's son gets kidnapped by a Southern black man and Clancy and Skinner must find him.

'''The Love-matic Grampa''' (Cheesy fantasy sitcoms of TheSixties, ''My Mother, the Car'' in particular) -- Having "got lost along the way" to Heaven, Abe Simpson's spirit now inhabits the "love tester" machine at Moe's Tavern and gives the bartender tips on how to win over women.

'''The Simpson Family Smile-Time Variety Hour''' (Variety shows of TheSeventies, specifically ''The Brady Bunch Hour'' and ''Laugh-In''): The Simpsons, minus Lisa -- who declined to participate and is replaced by a blonde teenager -- host a cornball 1960s sketch comedy show, with special guest star Tim Conway.

[=McClure=] ends the show with a mock preview of the upcoming ninth season, which will include magic powers, multiple weddings, long-lost triplets, and Homer befriending a tiny, green space alien named Ozmodiar that only he can see [[note]]It should be noted that all of these came true in later episodes to some extent: the magic powers were mostly seen in the Halloween episodes, episodes such as "There's Something About Marrying," "Wedding For Disaster," and "Rome-Old and Juli-Eh" featured crazy weddings, "Double Double Boy in Trouble" had Bart meet a boy who could be his long-lost twin, and the season 12 episode "HOMR" featured a brief appearance by Ozmodiar[[/note]].
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!!This episode contains examples of:
* TheBigEasy: The setting of ''Chief Wiggum P.I.'', and according to its backstory, Skinner's birthplace.
* BitingTheHandHumor: The end of ''The Simpson Family Smile-Time Variety Hour'':
-->'''Homer:''' I wish our special guest Tim Conway didn't have to leave so soon.\\
'''Tim Conway:''' I'm still here. Fox wouldn't spring for a decent hotel room.\\
'''Marge:''' ''(laughs)'' He's just kidding. We'd like to thank Fox and the good people at Budget Lodge.
** The Fox prime-time schedule is shown at the beginning of the show. Except for ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', ''Series/TheXFiles'' and ''Series/MelrosePlace'', every slot is a question mark.
* BrainlessBeauty: The replacement Lisa seems to have been held back in school... multiple times.
-->'''Fake Lisa:''' I'm Lisa, peppy, blonde, and stunning! Sophomore prom queen five years running! Go-o-o-o, Lisa!
* CallingCard: Played with in ''Chief Wiggum P.I.''. Near the beginning, while Wiggum and Skinner are discussing about their current situation, a skull is thrown through the window, and the duo realise they have an enemy. Later on, another skull was left behind after Ralph was kidnapped. Cue Skinner: "Big Daddy's trademark calling card... it's right here inside the skull."
* ChairReveal: Played with in ''Chief Wiggum P.I.'', as we see Big Daddy run into his office and get into position so he could pull off this trope when Wiggum comes in shortly after.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: The FramingDevice takes place in the "Museum of TV and Television".
* DinnerWithTheBoss: The beaver sketch in ''The Simpson Family Smile-Time Variety Hour''.
* ExpositoryThemeSong: ''The Love-matic Grampa''.
* FatSweatySouthernerInAWhiteSuit: Big Daddy
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Beaver Bart taking advantage of the fact he lives in a dam to be able to say "dam door".
* GreatGazoo: Ozmodiar is a parody, and the original TropeNamer for this trope.
* IncrediblyLamePun: Quite a lot in this episode.
* ItsAlwaysMardiGrasInNewOrleans: And the Simpson family makes their cameo in ''Chief Wiggum P.I.'' at a Mardi Gras parade.
* LaughTrack: ''The Love-matic Grampa'' has one.
* MandatoryLine: Lisa only has one line in this episode, and it's during her appearance in ''Chief Wiggum P.I.''
* RequiredSpinOffCrossover: Parodied by the family showing up in New Orleans in ''Chief Wiggum, P.I.'' and Homer dropping by the bar in ''The Love-matic Grampa''.
* SpecialEditionTitle: This is one of the few episodes between the first season and the high-definition episodes to not have the traditional opening with Bart [[WritingLines writing lines]] and/or a CouchGag.
* StylisticSuck: All three segments are deliberately badly scripted bland and cheesy TV spin-off shows (though if you read some of the reviews on snpp.com, the viewers apparently [[TookTheBadFilmSeriously saw the Stylistic Suck as a sign that the show was falling apart]]). The idea of "The Love-matic Grampa", for instance, is an obvious parody of the awful concept of ''MyMotherTheCar''.
* ThemeTuneRollCall: ''The Simpson Family Smile-Time Variety Hour''.
* TheOtherDarrin: In universe and parodied with Lisa in ''The Simpson Family Smile-Time Variety Hour''. Specifically, she's a parody of the fake Jan from ''TheBradyBunchVarietyHour''
* TheParody: The spin-off shows are mostly spoofs of ''Series/MiamiVice'', ''Series/MagnumPI'', ''Series/StarskyAndHutch'', ''Series/MyMotherTheCar'', ''Series/RowanAndMartinsLaughIn'', Music/TheOsmonds, ''Series/ThePartridgeFamily'', ''Series/TheBradyBunch'', the Smothers Brothers and ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones''.
* ToBeContinuedRightNow: "''Chief Wiggum P.I.'' will return... right now!"
* VarietyShow: ''The Simpson Family Smile-Time Variety Hour''.
* VillainExitStageLeft: Parodied in ''Chief Wiggum P.I.'', in which Big Daddy swims away through the river... slowly.
-->'''Skinner:''' He's gradually getting away, Chief.
-->'''Wiggum:''' Ah, let him go. I have the feeling we'll meet again, each and every week. Always in more sexy and exciting ways.
* WhatsAHenway: In ''The Simpson Family Smile-Time Variety Hour'', when Homer learns that their special guest is Tim Conway:
-->'''Homer:''' What's a Tim Conway?
-->'''Tim Conway:''' Oh, about 120 pounds.