Question about syndicated shortening of Simpsons episodes

Is this done by the Simpsons, each individual network, editing house? How are they usually shortened- whole missing scenes, shortening of all scenes, etc?

I don’t kmnow who does it, but I suspect it may be one company, because I can tell you that every episode I have seen on both CBC and my local ABC afiliate are edited in the exact same way, and have been for several years (almost a decade.)

It’s probably done by the syndicator – makes it easier for the station. However, the statiom might be allowed to make further cuts.

As to how they decide, it depends on the episode. It’s not likely they’d remove an entire scene – it would confuse the plot – but individual jokes can be removed.

The DVD commentaries reveal that the Simpsons people are often surprised or disgusted by what gets cut out, so it’s not them.

All the ones I’ve noticed have been shortened by having the opening sequence removed entirely.

Many Simpson’s episodes have an absurd scene a minute or so long at the beginning that isn’t crucial to the rest of the episode. That seems to be the most commonly cut piece.

Wait wait wait,
The Simpsons have gone into syndication?
When did this happen and on what channels?
It’s too good to be true.

As long as we’re on the topic, can anyone explain why they cut off literally seconds at the ends of scenes? I’ve given up hope of ever seeing the complete “you don’t win friends with salad” conga dance scene, but I really don’t get why so many episodes are cut in the middle of words. The editor is saving two seconds at most.

Two seconds fifteen times is another 30-second commercial. I’ve never seen things deliberately cut in the middle of words, though. That would be annoying.

The most common techniques include: cutting up the theme sequence, cutting out non-essential jokes, sight-gags, etc., moving dialog over establishing shots, and slightly increasing the playback speed of the whole episode.

It depends- where do you live? The Simpsons has been syndicated for years. In my area- New York Cityish area- they air on the local Fox affliate, WNYW channel 5.

As for who edits it, I think it’s the syndicator. Every television show in syndication is edited to make room for more ads. For some reason, only The Simpsons fans have really noticed anything about it.

I want to say that it’s been in syndication for at least 10 years now. In Chicago, it’s on WFLD, the Fox affiliate here.

Either they do such a good subtle editing job or I am slow, I have watched in syndication since day one and only noticed editing a week or so ago, the episode where they go to Ned’s cabin and Ned has post it notes everywhere, that scene is shortened by a few seconds.

Either soul radiation is an alien, or y’all have to be getting whooshed.

It’s because so many of the memorable jokes on The Simpsons are “throwaway” lines that aren’t related to the plot and thus can be cut rather easily. On other shows (e.g. Friends) they can just cut some sitcom cliche and the canned laughter following it and no one will know the difference.

Sorry, I was being serious but I had a brain fart and thought “syndication=on other channels” It just did not occur to me that Simpsons being on Fox was syndication.

Carry on.

Just to chime in, I think the cutting may be related to the networks that are showing it. The Simpsons is syndicated on two networks here in Aus - Channel 10, which is a free-to-air station that has presumably purchased the rights and Fox8, who are (obviously) a Fox affiliate on cable.

The Channel 10 episodes are often cut and chopped and horrible with bits that are missing. The episodes on Fox8 are more often the full versions, and they’re less likely to fade into an ad while dialogue or visual gags are still going ahead (which 10 are very, very prone to doing).

I’ve noticed that they have a tendency to cut the last few seconds of scenes infuriatingly to cut off the punchline for the joke that has been built up.

Or “well, duh.”

In Southern Ontario, many different channels show the syndicated Simpsons episodes… Off the top of my head; CBC, Global, CFMT, Fox and Comedy… And I think there’s some more.

The only station that shows the full episode is Global, all the rest use the shorter/edited versions. Global is the only one I can count on to see the episode I saw the first time it was aired.

Individual stations have the ability (equipment) to compress each episode. Compression is speeding up the video and relaying the audio. This can be done more than once but in real (not animated) series the characters noticeably move too fast.

Which reminds me: what exactly are the rules for commercials? No more than 8 minutes per half hour in prime time? As many as you can force viewers to stomach in other time slots?