Since they appear on the same network, the folks of Quahog, Rhode Island, were never in competition with their Springfield counterparts, but Fox viewers never thought they’d see the friendly rival shows cross paths with one another. In the Simpson's season 25 premiere, MacFarlane will try to romance Marge Simpson, Entertainment Weekly reported.
"We wanted to come together in a bipartisan way to make Fox Sunday night rock,” Simpsons executive producer Al Jean told EW. “This was all very fun.”
There are many parallels between the two Fox animated sitcoms. Both shows focus on a less-than-perfect family and feature an overweight and ignorant father figure; both parody pop-culture heavily, themselves and sometimes each other.
The season premiere, titled “Dangers on a Train,” will feature MacFarlane as Ben, a man searching for a woman to have an affair with. He finds Marge when the Simpsons’ matriarch tries to find a Dolly Madison kind of cupcake site but winds up on an Ashley Madison-esque site dedicated to arranging affairs among married people, claims EW.
Marge finds Ben on the site, and the two grow fond of each other as they discuss a “Downton Abby” spoof “Upton Rectory.”
“A lot of him trying to go after her is over the phone, so it’s a perfect part for someone with his voice,” says Jean.
Ben’s character will also give MacFarlane the chance to practice his singing voice before hosting the Oscars this coming winter. In his guest appearance on "The Simpsons," he will sing “The Way You Look Tonight.”
MacFarlane was apparently enthusiastic about the opportunity to join the ranks of Springfield’s long list of notable guest characters.
“We thought we had a great part that he’d be perfect for, and it would be great to have him on our show, so it worked out just right,” EW reports Jean said. “There’s been a little rivalry. We’re both humor shows and we make jokes, but it’s always been friendly.”
In true “Simpsons” and “Family Guy” form, the episode features a meta jab at both shows. Jean says, “They talk about this “Downton Abbey” show and they say, ‘There’s so much great stuff on Sunday nights… except on Fox.’”
While not technically a crossover, because no “Family Guy,” “American Dad” or “Cleveland Show” characters will make an appearance on "The Simpsons," MacFarlane’s participation is noteworthy. Maybe this could lead to a true crossover in the future, but that’s unlikely due to the different styles of humor between MacFarlane’s shows and “The Simpsons.”
MacFarlane is just the latest big name to be attached to season 25 of "The Simpsons." It was reported last week that Judd Apatow would produce a script for an episode of Matt Groening's animated series, based on work he had written for the show 22 years ago.