If you think the next new episode of The Simpsons will be casualty-free, you’ve made a grave mistake: The anticipated installment that features the death of a familiar face has been slated as the season 26 premiere. Speaking to EW last fall, executive producer Al Jean promised viewers “an emotional story” and dropped just a few hints about who will wind up pushing daisies. One, the actor who voiced this character claimed an Emmy for his/her performance in the role, and two, the character has appeared in more than two episodes. (UPDATE: During a Fox panel at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, Jean noted that the soon-to-be-deceased character could return in a flashback or as a ghost.)
The season premiere, which is titled “Clown in the Dumps” and airs Sept. 28 on Fox, is not the only event episode of The Simpsons this fall: The Futurama crossover installment has been slated to air Nov. 9. Cast members from the cancelled 31st-century comedy reprising their roles include Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal, Phil LaMarr, Lauren Tom, Maurice LaMarche, and Tress MacNeille (who also is part of the Simpsons voice cast). In “Simpsorama”, Bender travels back in time to kill Bart because Bart does something in the present that has terrible consequences for the future.
Of course, The Simpsons is involved in another crossover episode this fall. Homer & Co. will pop up on Family Guy in that show’s season premiere.