Recap: The Simpsons S 8 E 24 The Simpsons Spin Off Showcase

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

A Three Shorts 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, The Simpsons, 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, Married... with Children, and Living Single were either on their way to being canceled or already gone, and this episode was made before the days of Futurama, Seth Mac Farlane's trionote , Bob's Burgers, and all the live-action shows that became critical darlings and/or the new standard of episodic comedy, such as Malcolm in the Middle, The Mindy Project, New Girl, Raising Hope, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the criminally screwed-over Arrested Development, and Will Forte's The Last Man on Earth.

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 anynote , 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 The Sixties, 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 The '70s, 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 .

This episode contains examples of: