Disney+ UK confirms Simpsons deal

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Don't have a cow, man! Disney+ will include The Simpsons after all when it launches in the UK later this month.

The animation didn't feature on the streaming service's UK line-up when it was revealed last week, despite Disney owning the rights.

Its absence was due to licensing restrictions with Sky, which broadcasts the show in the UK.

But Disney has now confirmed that more than 660 episodes will be available when the platform launches on 24 March.

The episodes cover seasons one to 30. It will be the first time Homer, Bart, Marge, Maggie and Lisa have been available to stream on demand in the UK.

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The Simpsons is currently broadcast in the UK on Sky One and Channel 4 - Sky shows episodes from all 31 series, while Channel 4 is showing up to series 27.

But some Simpsons fans threatened to boycott Disney+ UK if the series was not included in its roster of programmes.

It is understood that the show will be shown on Sky for the foreseeable future, no matter the outcome of the Disney+ deal.

Gala launch cancelled

Disney has owned the rights to The Simpsons since it purchased Rupert Murdoch's Fox for $52bn in 2017. The US version of Disney+ also launched with more than 660 episodes of the sitcom last year.

Only one was missing: Season three's Stark Raving Dad, which featured a guest appearance by Michael Jackson. Producers pulled the episode from circulation following renewed allegations of sexual abuse by the star in the Finding Neverland documentary last year.

Other shows destined for Disney+ when it launches in the UK will include Star Wars series The Mandalorian and a new Toy Story series centred on the character Forky.

The on-demand video service, which costs £5.99 per month, is Disney's attempt to challenge industry leader Netflix, which has 170 million subscribers.

Walt Disney said about 28.6 million people had signed up for Disney+ worldwide since it started in November.

The service is currently available in five countries, including the US and Canada. Alongside the UK, it's due to launch in other countries in western Europe later this month.

However, a red carpet gala marking the launch was cancelled due to fears over coronavirus.

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