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‘The Simpsons’ to air first one-hour episode; poor Mr. Burns

August 8, 2016
In this image released by Fox, characters, from left, Bart, voiced by Nancy Cartwright, Lisa, voiced by Yeardley Smith, Maggie, Marge, voiced by Julie Kavner and Homer, voiced by Dan Castellaneta appear in a scene from the animated series, "The Simpsons." The series will expand to a one hour for the episode, titled "The Great Phatsby," starring Taraji P. Henson and Keegan-Michael Key. (Fox via AP)
In this image released by Fox, characters, from left, Bart, voiced by Nancy Cartwright, Lisa, voiced by Yeardley Smith, Maggie, Marge, voiced by Julie Kavner and Homer, voiced by Dan Castellaneta appear in a scene from the animated series, "The Simpsons." The series will expand to a one hour for the episode, titled "The Great Phatsby," starring Taraji P. Henson and Keegan-Michael Key. (Fox via AP)

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — “The Simpsons” is doubling down with an hour-long episode in January.

It will be the first time the half-hour animated series has expanded to a full hour, Fox said Monday.

Al Jean, executive producer of the series that revels in daring humor, included a political shot in announcing the episode.

“I just pray it won’t be the last thing people see before a Trump inauguration,” Jean said in a statement.

Taraji P. Henson, who plays Cookie on Fox’s “Empire,” and Keegan-Michael Key will guest star. Henson voices Praline, the former wife of a music mogul who has conned Mr. Burns into bankruptcy. Key voices a rapper, Jazzy James, who joins with Praline, Homer and Bart to help Mr. Burns seek revenge.

The airdate for the episode, titled “The Great Phatsby,” a play on the classic “The Great Gatsby,” was not announced. “The Simpsons” begins its 28th season on Sept. 25, and will reach its 600-episode milestone Oct. 16.

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