The Simpsons, by the Numbers

¡Ay, caramba! With new episodes airing at least through 2011, The Simpsons, which turns 20 on December 17, has been on the small screen longer than any other comedy or drama in prime-time television history. Below, a look at the dough — or is it d'oh? — behind Matt Groening's brainchild.

Animating each half-hour episode takes six months, requires dozens of animators in the u.S. and Korea, and cost more than $500,000.

This season is The Simpsons' 21st, making it the longest-running prime-time comedy in U.S. TV history. (No. 1 drama: Gunsmoke, which ran for 20 seasons.)

During the show's opening credits, a supermarket cashier scans Maggie Simpson. She's worth $486.52.

The Simpsons universe contains more than 300 supporting characters, including Comic Book Guy, Squeaky-Voiced Teen, and Krusty the Clown.

The major Simpsons cast members make $400,000 per episode.

Consumers worldwide spent more than $750 million on Simpsons merchandise last year.

Homer Simpson makes and estimated $65,000 a year working as a nuclear Safety Inspector.

In 1990, 33.6 million people watched "Bart Gets an F" the highest-rated episode in Simpsons history.

Marge and Lisa have 8 eyelashes. Maggie has 6.

The Simpsons finished the 1989-90 season at #28 in the Nielsen ratings, the first Fox show ever to break into the top 30.

Last season, it ranked 83rd.

Today the show averages 6.7 million viewers — although it's the 7th most watched show on Hulu.

Last year, companies spent $314.8 million to advertise during Simpsons first-runs and prime-time repeats, down 16.8% from 2007.

Burger King, Target, and bowling ball maker Brunswick are among the 500-plus companies around the world that have been licensed to use the Simpsons brand.

[Photo by Daryl Mitchell]

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