|The Simpsons (season 17)|
DVD cover featuring Sideshow Bob
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||22|
|Original release||September 11, 2005 –|
May 21, 2006
The Simpsons' seventeenth season originally aired between September 2005 and May 2006, beginning on Sunday, September 11, 2005. It broke Fox's tradition of pushing its shows' season premieres back to November to accommodate the Major League Baseball games airing on the network during September and October of each year. Season 17 was released on DVD and Blu-ray in Region 1 on December 2, 2014, Region 2 on December 1, 2014, and Region 4 on December 3, 2014.
Al Jean remained show runner, with this being his fifth year in the position since he started it in season 13. David Silverman was the supervising director of animation. New writers included Patric Verrone (previously a writer for The Critic, Futurama, and current president of the Writers Guild of America, Western Division), Daniel Chun, and Stephane Gillis. During this season, there were no episodes that aired during the month of October.
Seven hold-over episodes from the season 16 (GABF) production line aired as part of this season. One of these episodes, "The Girl Who Slept Too Little", was intended to air as the season 16 finale on May 15, 2005, but after "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star", an episode satirizing the Catholic Church, was postponed due to Pope John Paul II's death, it was moved into this season.
The season was met with mixed-to-positive reviews. Jeffry Kauffman of Blu-ray.com gave the season 4/5. He said the season was "arguably an incremental step downward" but he still thought "There are still delights galore to be sampled throughout the season," Shadowlocked gave the season 4/5 stars. Luke Connolly said that the season did a great job at tying things together and praised "Girls Just Want to have Sums" and "We're on the Road to D'ohwhere" as highlights. He concluded by saying "While season 17 shows its age in certain places, its continual pursuit of originality and familiar comedy more than makes up for this, and one cannot help but be impressed." Fanboy Nation's Sean Mukvihill was positive on the season saying "Even though it isn't as a great as it once was, the show still boast some very clever writing and the best voice cast of any animated program in history." Capsule Computers was more critical of the season giving the season 5.5/10 and commented "As a long time fan of the early Simpsons that involved great episodes with hilarious, tightly developed plots, it is hard to stomach what the show has become." Spotlight Report gave the season 3.0/5 criticizing that it wasn't as funny as previous seasons.
"The Seemingly Neverending Story" won an Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program, the first Simpsons episode to win since season 14's "Three Gays of the Condo" and the ninth time in the history of the show. Kelsey Grammer received the Emmy for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for "The Italian Bob".
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|357||1||"The Bonfire of the Manatees"||Mark Kirkland||Dan Greaney||September 11, 2005||GABF18||11.10|
After Homer gets into trouble over his football gambling debts, he allows the Springfield Mafia to shoot a porno film (euphemistically called a "snuggle film") in the house without Marge's permission. When she and the kids return home from a trip to "Santa's Village" and find production still going on, a furious Marge leaves for the beach—and encounters a marine biologist named Caleb Thorn who has dedicated his life to saving manatees.|
Guest star: Alec Baldwin as Caleb Thorn
|358||2||"The Girl Who Slept Too Little"||Raymond S. Persi||John Frink||September 18, 2005||GABF16||9.79|
|After the family successfully protests against a stamp museum being built next to their house, a cemetery is built near the Simpson house instead, making the normally unflappable Lisa realize that someone as smart as her can be afraid of something.|
|359||3||"Milhouse of Sand and Fog"||Steven Dean Moore||Patric M. Verrone||September 25, 2005||GABF19||10.19|
|Homer tries to capitalize on a "pox party" after Maggie is infected with chicken pox, but ends up catching it himself. Meanwhile, Milhouse's parents reunite after years of being divorced, but Milhouse and Bart try to break them up again after Milhouse's parents do not pay enough attention to him.|
|360||4||"Treehouse of Horror XVI"||David Silverman||Marc Wilmore||November 6, 2005||GABF17||11.63|
B.I. Bartificial Intelligence – Bart falls into a coma after trying to jump into the swimming pool at Patty and Selma's apartment complex. With Bart incapacitated, the Simpsons buy a robot son, who proves to be a better son than Bart ever was, leaving the real Bart to befriend a group of traveling robots.|
Survival of the Fattest – Mr. Burns hunts down Homer and a small collection of male ancillary characters as part of a new reality show called "The World Series of Manslaughter."
I've Grown a Costume on Your Face – After she loses a Halloween costume contest, a witch turns the townspeople into their Halloween costumes, and Lisa (who is now Albert Einstein) finds out that Maggie (who is dressed as a witch) is the key to revert the spell.
Guest stars: Terry Bradshaw and Dennis Rodman Also contains what in retrospect is a horrifying reference to Jared Fogle.
|361||5||"Marge's Son Poisoning"||Mike B. Anderson||Daniel Chun||November 13, 2005||GABF20||11.4|
|Marge buys a tandem bicycle and after she fails to ride it on her own, Bart offers to ride with her. He soon finds himself increasingly spending time with his mother, until school bullies accuse him of being a "mama's boy". Meanwhile, Moe pushes Homer into the world of professional arm wrestling after seeing Homer doing 50,000 reps on his right arm.|
|362||6||"See Homer Run"||Nancy Kruse||Stephanie Gillis||November 20, 2005||GABF21||10.3|
|In order to win back Lisa's love after shunning her Father's Day gift (and fearing that the action will cause Lisa to despise all men), Homer takes a job as a costumed mascot known as "The Safety Salamander", who wins public acclaim for saving drivers from a car accident. Meanwhile, Springfield holds a recall election to get Mayor Quimby out of office.|
|363||7||"The Last of the Red Hat Mamas"||Matthew Nastuk||Joel H. Cohen||November 27, 2005||GABF22||11.46|
Marge joins a woman's group after Homer humiliates her at the Mayor's Easter egg hunt, but Marge discovers that her new friends are thieves planning a heist. Meanwhile, Lisa searches for a tutor to help her speak Italian—and finds one in Milhouse.|
Guest Star: Lily Tomlin
|364||8||"The Italian Bob"||Mark Kirkland||John Frink||December 11, 2005||HABF02||10.39|
After Mr. Burns is teased about his car, he sends Homer and the family off to Italy to pick up his new fancy sports car. While on their Italian adventure, the Simpsons end up stranded in a small Italian village where a rehabilitated Sideshow Bob reigns as mayor with a wife and son.|
Guest Stars: Maria Grazia Cucinotta and Kelsey Grammer
|365||9||"Simpsons Christmas Stories"||Steven Dean Moore||Don Payne||December 18, 2005||HABF01||9.8|
|In this trilogy Christmas episode, Homer tells his rendition of Jesus's birth during Christmas mass in "The First (Annoyed Grunt)-El", Grampa tells a Yuletide war story in "I Saw Grampa Cussing Santa Claus", and Springfield musically prepares for Christmas in "The Nutcracker...Sweet".|
|366||10||"Homer's Paternity Coot"||Mike B. Anderson||Joel H. Cohen||January 8, 2006||HABF03||10.1|
Marge's protest against a toll booth causes an accident at the Springfield Tire Yard (which has been perpetually on fire since the 1980s), melting a frozen section of a mountain and revealing the corpse of a mailman who has a letter from Homer's mom, who had an affair with a handsome lifeguard who may be Homer's biological father.|
Guest Stars: Michael York, William H. Macy and Joe Frazier
|367||11||"We're on the Road to D'ohwhere"||Nancy Kruse||Kevin Curran||January 29, 2006||HABF04||9.04|
|After Bart steals a key from Principal Skinner's office and gets himself into hot water (literally, by fooling around with the school's steam system), Principal Skinner sentences Bart to a "behavior modification camp"—and Homer must give up his Vegas vacation with his bar buddies in order to take Bart there since he has been put on the airport's "No Fly" List. Meanwhile, Marge and Lisa have a yard sale—and discover that their biggest-selling product are the many expired medications they have accumulated over the years.|
|368||12||"My Fair Laddy"||Bob Anderson||Michael Price||February 26, 2006||HABF05||9.51|
|Lisa attempts to transform Groundskeeper Willie into a proper gentleman after Groundskeeper Willie's shack collapses and, like many other secondary and one-time characters over the years, is forced to live with The Simpsons. Meanwhile, Homer becomes a human billboard to save the company that makes his pants.|
|369||13||"The Seemingly Never-Ending Story"||Raymond S. Persi||Ian Maxtone-Graham||March 12, 2006||HABF06||9.72|
While cave exploring with his family, Homer causes the cave to crumble and finds himself stuck upside down in the ceiling. Marge and Bart search for help while Lisa passes the time by telling Homer a story, which turns into a chain of narrated tales that, bit by bit, explain why The Simpsons are spending the day at Carl's Dad Caverns.
|370||14||"Bart Has Two Mommies"||Mike Marcantel||Dana Gould||March 19, 2006||HABF07||8.75|
Ned Flanders wins a new computer and offers it to Marge, as he has no use for it. In return, Marge babysits the Flanders children. With Marge spending so much time at The Flanders', Homer must look after Bart and Lisa. Homer takes the kids to an animal retirement home, but the trip goes awry when Toot-Toot the monkey pulls Bart into her cage and holds him hostage.|
Guest Stars: Susan Sarandon, Antonio Fargas, Dave Thomas and Randy Johnson
|371||15||"Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife"||Matthew Nastuk||Ricky Gervais||March 26, 2006||HABF08||10.09|
Homer's obsession with Lenny's new plasma TV prompts Marge to enter the family in a sweepstakes, and they win a trip to the Fox Studio Lot. Against Marge's wishes, Homer signs them up for a Trading Spouses/Wife Swap-style reality show and is forced to take in a controlling wife, while Marge moves in with a beaten-down husband, Charlie, and his perfect son.|
Guest Star: Ricky Gervais
|372||16||"Million Dollar Abie"||Steven Dean Moore||Tim Long||April 2, 2006||HABF09||7.83|
After costing Springfield their chance at getting a major football team, Grampa contemplates suicide and goes to a doctor specializing in euthanasia. However, when the police arrests the doctor and Grampa realizes he's not dead, he starts a new life as a bullfighter for the newly converted stadium.Guest stars: Rob Reiner and Michael Carrington
|373||17||"Kiss Kiss, Bang Bangalore"||Mark Kirkland||Deb Lacusta & Dan Castellaneta||April 9, 2006||HABF10||8.20|
Patty and Selma abduct Richard Dean Anderson (the actor best known for playing MacGyver) during the Springfield Stargate SG-1 convention after Anderson rudely tells the terrible twins that he only did MacGyver to make money. Meanwhile, Mr. Burns outsources his nuclear plant to India and chooses Homer to be the new boss.|
Guest Star: Richard Dean Anderson
|374||18||"The Wettest Stories Ever Told"||Mike B. Anderson||Jeff Westbrook||April 23, 2006||HABF11||7.04|
|When the Simpsons' plans for a nice family outing at the Frying Dutchman turn into a dining disaster, the family (and show writers) try to salvage the night by telling three tales of disasters at sea: in "Mayflower Madman," Pilgrims Moe and Homer fight for the hand of Goody Marge while sailing to Plymouth Rock, in "The Whine-Bar Sea," Bart leads a mutiny against Captain Principal Skinner, and in "Watership D'ohn," The Simpsons (and a collection of ancillary characters) re-enact The Poseidon Adventure.|
|375||19||"Girls Just Want to Have Sums"||Nancy Kruse||Matt Selman||April 30, 2006||HABF12||8.7|
Principal Skinner is replaced by a women's education expert after making a sexist statement about women's math skills during a musical (which was written by a former female Springfield Elementary school student who was a math whiz), who segregates the school by gender. At first, Lisa loves the arrangement, but when she discovers that the girls' classes are more about self-esteem boosting than actual learning, Lisa disguises herself as a boy and attends the boys' classes.|
Guest Star: Frances McDormand
|376||20||"Regarding Margie"||Michael Polcino||Marc Wilmore||May 7, 2006||HABF13||8.50|
Marge goes nuts trying to clean the kitchen in time for a best house contest, but when she inhales the fumes of one too many cleaning solvents, she passes out and bangs her head on a stool. When Marge comes to at the hospital, she is stricken with amnesia, which does not last when she immediately remembers everyone in the family through their quirks—except for Homer. With Marge's memory of Homer erased, Patty and Selma help their sister find a new man.|
Guest Stars: Sal Bando and Gene Tenace
|377||21||"The Monkey Suit"||Raymond S. Persi||J. Stewart Burns||May 14, 2006||HABF14||8.3|
Reverend Lovejoy is appointed to spread the word of creationism in Springfield after Flanders complains about a new museum display about evolution, leading creationism to be taught in schools—and Lisa to fight back with secret classes about Charles Darwin and his theories of evolution. However, she is quickly arrested and a trial against her is initiated.|
Guest Stars: Melanie Griffith and Larry Hagman
|378||22||"Marge and Homer Turn a Couple Play"||Bob Anderson||Joel H. Cohen||May 21, 2006||HABF16||8.23|
A first baseman for the Springfield Isotopes calls upon Homer and Marge to help him with his marriage to a stripper/pop singer named Tabitha Vixx, who upstages him with a racy musical number during one of his games.|
Guest Stars: Mandy Moore and Stacy Keach
The DVD and Blu-ray boxset for season seventeen was released by 20th Century Fox in the United States and Canada on December 2, 2014, eight years after it had completed broadcast on television. As well as every episode from the season, the Blu-ray and DVD releases feature bonus material including deleted scenes, animatics, and commentaries for every episode. The boxart features Sideshow Bob, and a special limited edition "embossed head case" package was also released.
This is the only season of The Simpsons to receive a 15 rating in the UK, but this is due to the additional material (the episodes are only a 12 rating).
|The Complete Seventeenth Season|
|Set Details||Special Features|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|Tuesday, December 2, 2014||Monday, December 1, 2014||Wednesday, December 3, 2014|