Simpsons A character will die in "The Simpsons" Season 26 premiere featuring Krusty the Clown (Dan Castellaneta, pictured). Photo: FOX

“The Simpsons” returns Sunday for its incredible and historic 26th season. It all kicks off with the premiere at 8 p.m. EDT on FOX where, Executive Producer Al Jean has teased that the series will kill off one of its characters. Fans have been speculating as to who exactly will get the ax in the new episode.

Adding to the hype is the promise from Jean that “when ['The Simpsons'] kills someone, they stay dead” (as opposed to “Family Guy,” who in their most recent season killed Brian (Seth McFarlane) only to bring him back episodes later). One important note is that the death will not be one of the major characters, according to Jean, ruling out Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie (at least).  However, the character will be a Springfield resident.

The “Simpson’s” premiere is titled, “Clown in the Dumps,” giving fans their first clue as to who might be on the chopping block. The synopsis reveals that episode will feature Krusty the Clown (Dan Castellaneta) in a foul mood, choosing to retire after a cable comedy roast special on Krusty offends him.

With the episode’s plot in mind, here are 4 possibilities for “The Simpsons” Season 26 character premiere death:

Krusty the Clown

The most obvious guess based on the episode synopsis would be Krusty himself. Fans know already that often-depressed entertainer will be having a low moment in the premiere. Could he be suicidal? It isn’t likely. Plus, Krusty feels like too much of a main character to be offed.

Sideshow Mel

With Krusty ruled out (as well as any of the Simpsons family), the next logical choice in the Krusty-centric episode would be people in the clown’s circle. Could someone Krusty knows die and contribute to his depressed state? Or could he even kill someone in his rage over the comedy special? One candidate for this theory would be his current sidekick, Mel Van Horne (Dan Castellaneta). Mel last appeared in Season 25 and has been working odd jobs since Krusty’s show was cancelled. Could he be the one to go?

Sideshow Bob

Another possibility could be Krusty’s former sidekick Bob Terwilliger. Bob was replaced by Mel and for the past few season’s Bob most recently appeared in Season 25 and has spent the majority of the show breaking out to carry out evil plots. He has even tried to kill Krusty before. Could he have a hand in the comedy special and enrage Krusty to the point of murder?

Cecil Terwilliger

David Hyde Pierce will be guest-starring in the premiere and, while which character he will play has not been announced, Pierce has often voiced the role of Cecil Terwilliger. Cecil is Sideshow Bob’s younger brother and has also been involved in plots to kill Krusty? Could this guest role be the secret to the premiere character death?

Fans will have to wait until the episode airs to finally find out for sure. “The Simpsons” Season 26 premieres Sunday, Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. EDT on FOX.

Who do you think will die in “The Simpsons” premiere? Tweet your thoughts to @Ja9GarofaloTV.