December 22, 2009 / 5:06 AM / 9 years ago

Fox going yellow for "Simpsons" anniversary

Matt Groening (C), creator of The Simpsons, poses with characters from the show (L-R) Homer, Bart, Lisa, Marge and Maggie at the 20th anniversary party for the television series at Barker hangar in Santa Monica, California October 18, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Fox is going yellow for the home stretch of its “Simpsons” 20th anniversary celebration.

For the week beginning January 3, graphical elements across Fox properties will turn yellow in honor of Matt Groening’s iconic characters. That means on-air graphics, Fox’s Web sites, social-network pages and special on-air promos — all in yellow, along with a range of other stunts (such as local Fox news anchors wearing yellow ties).

The move is part of the final push of what’s been an extensive “Simpsons” marketing push to honor the series, which concludes with a January 10 one-hour documentary special on the show directed by Morgan Spurlock of “Super Size Me” fame.

Right before the documentary, “The Simpsons” will air its 450th episode.

“We always knew at the end of the campaign we’d go yellow,” said Fox executive vp marketing Joe Earley, who has led the year-and-half campaign. The effort has included on-air scavenger hunts, contests for viewers to create their own posters and “couch gag,” and even the “Simpsons” receiving their own postage stamps.

It’s rare for a network to put such an extensive marketing effort behind a veteran series. It’s not as if “Simpsons” is even Fox’s highest-rated program on Sundays (that honor goes to “Family Guy).

“For a show to hit its 20th anniversary in today’s universe is such a feat, and it still has such a resonance in the zeitgeist,” Earley said. “The show has viewers who have viewed it for three generations. Besides, it’s such a creative property that it’s fun to come up with ideas for it.”

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