"Dear Mr. President, There are too many states nowadays. Please eliminate three. P.S. I am not a crackpot." 1. The Simpsons (1989) - 104 points The Simpsons is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Network. It is a satirical parody of the "Middle American" lifestyle epitomized by its title family, consisting of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie. Set in the fictional town of Springfield, the show lampoons many aspects of the human condition, as well as American culture, society as a whole and even television itself. The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a pitch for a series of animated shorts with James L. Brooks. Groening had been called in to pitch a series of animated shorts, and had intended to present his Life in Hell series. When he realized that animating Life in Hell would require him to rescind publication rights for his life's work, Groening decided to go in another direction. He hurriedly sketched out his version of a dysfunctional family, and named the characters after his own family. Bart was modeled after Groening's older brother, Mark, but given a different name which was chosen as an anagram of "brat." The Simpson family first appeared in animated form as shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show, with the first episode, "Good Night", airing on April 19, 1987. The family was crudely drawn, because Groening had submitted basic sketches to the animators, assuming they would clean them up; instead they just traced over his drawings. In 1989, The Simpsons was adapted into a half-hour series for the Fox network by a team of production companies, including what is now the Klasky Csupo animation house. Due to the fledgling position of the Fox network, Jim Brooks obtained an unusual contractual provision that ensured the network could not interfere with the creative process by providing show notes. Groening has been quoted as saying that his goal in creating the show was to "offer an alternative to the audience, and show them there's something else out there than the mainstream trash that they are presented as the only thing." The first full length episode shown was "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" in place of the intended first episode, "Some Enchanted Evening." The latter had to be reanimated after the creators saw the poor quality of the final animation, and was eventually shown as the final episode of the first season. The Simpsons was an early hit for Fox, and has won several major awards. In its 1998 issue celebrating the greatest achievements in arts and entertainment of the 20th century, Time magazine named The Simpsons the century's best television series. On January 14, 2000 the Simpsons was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It is the longest-running American sitcom, as well as the longest-running American animated program. The Simpsons has been influential on popular culture. Its catchphrases have been adopted into the English lexicon. The annoyed grunt "D'oh!" has entered the English dictionary. It was cited as an influence on many adult-oriented animated sitcoms of the late 1990s. And there you have it. Discussions and debates shall be allowed here till the end of time.