Multiple sources have reportedly confirmed the news that the long-running cult show will make its way to cable next year and assure that after 20-plus years of build up "there's a pent-up demand for it."
TV Guide reports that the reason it took so long to bring Homer and the gang to cable lies on the show's original contract which was drafted when it was first syndicated in 1993.
"It was a unique time and place and a unique show, and thus the deals were advantageous to the stations," says Katz Media vice president and director of programming Bill Carroll, who added, "There have been additional contracts to add episodes."
It is still unknown why producers decided to move to cable, but many speculate that the show might be coming to an end after next year's 25th season, which would mean that the original exclusivity deal would no longer be in place.
Analysts have long predicted that rights to the cartoon sit-com's over 530 episodes could be sold to cable networks for more than $1.5 million. In addition many are speculating that Fox's sister cable channel FX will have dibs on the show.
Other likely suitors include Turner, Viacom and NBC Universal.