No “D’oh!” for The Simpsons

TVNZ 2 is replacing this weekend’s first-run episode of The Simpsons with a repeat because of censorship issues.

Episode 17 of season 31 has been classified PGR, which means it can’t air at 6.30 on Sunday.

The plot of Highway to Well, which screened Sunday in the US, revolves around Homer and Marge become competing cannabis dealers.

On Fox, it opened with “the network mandated warning message about … stoner humour,” Den of Geek reports.

There’s something about The Simpsons‘ season 31 which feels like the writers are just choosing last year‘s hot topics in an effort to stay contemporary. This probably means we’ll see a coronavirus episode in two or three years.

Screening instead of Highway to Well will be ep 15 of S29, No Good Read Goes Unpunished, in which Marge forces everyone to hand over their tech toys and visit a bookshop.

In another scheduling change for censorship reasons, TVNZ 2 will replace April 5’s 2.20pm movie Wild Wild West with Love on the Slopes.

TVNZ also announced more COVID-19-driven scheduling changes overnight, including TVNZ 1’s pre-emption of this afternoon’s 4.30 repeat of Highway Cops for Covid-19 Level 4 Alert: Pacific People (Level 4 Alert messages in the Samoan, Tongan. Cooks Islands Maori, Niue, Tokelauan, Tuvalu, Fijian, Rotuman and Kiribati languages).

There also will be slight timing changes because of “reduced sales and shorter programming durations” for some TVNZ 2 series, such as tonight’s hour-long episode of Neighbors, which will air from 6.05 instead of 6.00.

Later in the night, Naked Attraction, Two and a Half Men, Police Ten 7, Claws and Private Practice will start five minutes earlier than originally scheduled.

Meanwhile, in the US, NBC has pulled an episode of New Amsterdam about a fictional flu epidemic that now will air outside the current season.

“The world needs a lot less fiction right now, and a lot more facts,” creator David Schulner says.

Some series that had gone off-air in the US because of COVID-19 concerns are set to return, including The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (from March 30), Real Time With Bill Maher (from April 5) and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (from March 29).

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2 Responses to “No “D’oh!” for The Simpsons”

  1. Wow – a lot of changes – the programming and scheduling teams must be really working hard to have to re-do their schedules. I wonder if they feel sad that their original plans can’t play as they intended?!

  2. I imagine they’ll certainly be feeling frustrated and frazzled, Tony.

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