There’s nothing new about a scripted TV series airing a special live episode, but a cartoon?
It may seem impossible, but that’s what viewers can expect to see this Sunday on “The Simpsons”; when, during the episode’s final three minutes, Homer Simpson answers viewer questions completely, 100-per-cent live for the first time in the show’s 27-year history — certainly a first in TV history, as well.
Thank modern technology, says longtime “Simpsons”; showrunner Al Jean, who explains that motion-capture techniques will be utilized.
“Dan Castellaneta [who voices Homer] will be in a booth where he speaks into a mic, and obviously what he says goes out live,”; says Jean. “And he’s not hooked up by electrodes or anything, his motions are captured and translated into Homer’s moves, which will then appear in the animation.”;
For viewers watching, adds Jean, “it will look like the normal show. We have background animation that has been pre-animated with several jokes, but everything Homer does, the centre of it, is live.”;
As for why Homer was selected for this live-TV experiment instead of one of the show’s other characters, Jean offers a simple explanation: “[Castellaneta] does improv all the time. He’s terrific at improv and it was just a natural fit.”;
You can catch this TV milestone this Sunday on “The Simpsons”;, airing at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Global; you can also watch full episodes online.