“The Simpsons” has been on the air for 30 years because they’re cartoons. Bart Simpson will never grow beyond the age of nine right? So that’s brilliant for them. Brilliant for all the actors who signed on to this and as we know this was actually a little five minute piece in the Tracy Ullman show. So again an English influence in the United States and then they moved it into being a full-on show. So these actors who were just sidekicks on Tracy Ullman and some people don’t even remember what they look like have had jobs for 30 years playing Marge and all the people. So I think that’s cool. I think it’s worth noting that “Arthur” was on the air for 25 years as a PBS show for children, which I think is adorable. My son is now 24 and when they did the finale of “Arthur”, he and all the kids in his generation were paying attention to a show they’d watched when they were eight because it was “Arthur” and it was going away and I thought how cute is that. So that kind of fan loyalty comes to you when you’ve been around a long time again which is something that “Doctor Who” has generated.
In this presentation given at the 2022 San Diego WhoCon I had the chance to trace the many ways Doctor Who changed the TV universe. By focusing on the interesting and innovative things the many writers did with the show across the years we were able to see the Who footprint by becoming the first narrative program to reach 50 years on the air, the first to create a spin-off across the ocean, and a show alongside Star Trek that created the Con-craze that brought the world of cosplay to the mainstream. Perhaps most importantly, a love of Doctor Who lead more Americans to watch programming from other countries – from Korean dramas to Mexican telenovelas – which has so enriched our culture.
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