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  1. #1

    What if Mike Scully had stepped down from showrunner in Season 11?

    As I'm pretty sure everyone here knows, an unwritten rule in the first 8 seasons (aka the classic era) was that showrunners would only produce two seasons before moving on. From what I've read, this was partially due to burnout, but it was also done to ensure that the show remained fresh. But starting with Mike Scully's four-season tenure from season 9 to 12, this rule was broken. Scully's run is also when the show is considered to have began declining. I really wonder what would've happened if Scully, instead of staying for an additional two seasons, had decided his gig was up after the tenth production season and handed the showrunner position to someone else. Would it have been Al Jean (let's assume it isn't Al Jean, to keep things interesting)? Another important figure in the staff? And also, how would seasons 9 and 10, now being the only seasons under his regime, have been remembered in retrospect? A lot of people still consider season 9 to be part of the golden age, if at its twilight, and while season 10 is thought to be more contentious, it still isn't seen as destructive to the show as season 11. Depending on whether this hypothetical new showrunner could've gotten the show "back on track" so to speak (whether Scully was truly responsible for the decline or and if it was inevitable by this point is another topic in itself), would they have been remembered as a blip in the radar? An experimental age? A worse version of the Mirkin era (also known to be gag-heavy)? Would we have still gotten stuff like the jockey elves in this alternate season 11?

  2. #2
    nothing to see here Alura's Avatar
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    Sep 2020

    if it wasn't al jean, i would be very curious to see where the show went. the show had lots of vitality left in it when scully was around and jean's style effectively killed that; had someone like george meyer ran seasons 11 and 12, i'd be curious to see the result
    as for its legacy, it again depends on how the following seasons were. reception of scully's first two seasons is still polarized, even not taking into account all the jockey elf stuff. if the show ended a few seasons after (doubtful) and the next few showrunners were successful, it'd likely go down as a "dark age". if they were worse, it'd be like how things are seen now but accelerated as seasons 9 and 10 are nowhere near as controversial to most fans than the height of scully's tenure. if al jean took over, well, things would mostly be the same, but seasons 9 and 10 would likely be canonized much more as it'd be a more logical point to cut off the classic era.
    it's fascinating to theorize about and i'm curious to see where this thread goes.

  3. #3

    I still think the decline would have happened regardless. The show was on track to become weirder and crazier since season eight at least. That's not a knock against season eight, because Oakley & Weinstein were experimental on purpose. But in later seasons, it seemed like the show learned the wrong things from season eight and just started becoming off-the-wall for the sake of it. There's no artistic purpose for the jockey elves or PBS characters attacking Homer. It's just cartoonish nonsense.

    I just feel like by season eleven, the show had exhausted itself creatively. I don't know if there was a way to change direction and boost the quality up again. One thing I noticed is that with every new showrunner, they wanted to take the show "back to the family." They felt like the two seasons before they came in were too weird and it was time for the show to be grounded and down to earth again. They try going back to writing simpler stories for the first few episodes, then they get bored and start doing surreal stories again. With Scully, it got to a point where it was too late to be realistic again and he just went for broke with all the craziness he could put into the show.

    In retrospect, I think seasons nine and ten would have an even better reputation than they do now. Scully wouldn't be blamed for ruining the show anymore, whoever came after him would. I also think they would try getting two people to run the show again. I know Mike Reiss had no interest in being the showrunner again, but it would be interesting to see him team up with Al Jean one more time and take over for two more years.

  4. #4
    good enough CousinMerl's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Spittle County

    In short, think that it Scully quit after season 10, someone like George Meyer would probably have taken over (or Al Jean as said, but I'm not sure he would have been the first choice) and the decline would still have happened (or rather continued as both season 9 and especially 10 signalled that the show was really changing for the much more cartoony and nonsensical, and I'm not completely sure any showrunner would or could have put the show back on the "classic era course").
    Season 32: Undercover Burns - 3/5 / I, Carumbus - 4/5 / Now Museum, Now You Don't - 1.5/5 / Treehouse Of Horror XXXI - 4/5 / The 7 Beer Itch - 1/5 / Podcast News - 3.5/5 / Three Dreams Denied - 2/5 / The Road to Cincinnati - 4/5 / Sorry Not Sorry - 3/5 / A Springfield Summer Christmas For Christmas - 2.5/5 / The Dad-Feelings Limited - 4/5 / Diary Queen - 2.5/5 / Wad Goals - 4/5 / Yokel Hero - 1.5/5 / Do PizzaBots Dream Of Electric Guitars? - 2.5/5 / Manger Things - 1.5/5 / Uncut Femmes - 4/5 / Burger Kings - 1.5/5 / Panic In The Streets Of Springfield - 3/5 / Mother And Child Reunion - 2.5/5 / The Man From G.R.A.M.P.A. - 3.5/5 / The Last Barfighter - 4.5/5

  5. #5
    Im in this vent until we move Trab Pu Kcip's Avatar
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    Jun 2020
    Blog Entries

    There would still be a decline at some point. If Jean started to showran it, then we could still see episodes like the Elf Jockey episode (after all, he did create the Talking Bar Rag episode). If Meyer decided to showrun it, then he could delay the d3ecline for a few seasons, but evem he needs to step down and to let Jean showrun. I would doubt that if Meyer showran, that there would've been Saddlesore, or even Kill The Alligator.

    Undercover Burns: 2.5/5, I, Carumbus: 3.5/5, Now Museum, Now You Don't: 1/5
    Treehouse Of Horror XXXI: 5/5 (Toy Gory: 5/5, Into The Homerverse: 2/5, Be Nine, Rewind: 6/5)
    The 7 Beer Itch: 0.5/5 - WORST OF SEASON
    Podcast News: 3/5, Three Dreams Denied: 1.5/5, The Road to Cincinnati: 3/5, Sorry Not Sorry: 2/5, A Springfield Summer Christmas for Christmas: 1.5/5
    The Dad Feelings Limited: 4/5
    Diary Queen: 2.5/5, Wad Goals: 2.5/5, Yokel Hero: 2.5/5, Do PizzaBots Dream of Electric Guitars?: ?/5, Manger Things: 1.5/5, Uncut Femmes: 4/5
    Burger Kings: 2.5/5, Panic in the Streets of Springfield: 3.5/5,
    The Man From G.R.A.M.P.A: 2/5, Mother and Child Reunion: 2.5/5,
    The Last Bar-Fighter: 5/5

  6. #6
    he he har har sandurt's Avatar
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    May 2020
    i can't keep making these furnace jokes
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    both good eps so it would be sad if meyer took over that fast. wouldve been fun to see him showrun like after s11
    i wish everybody i like a good day (i like everyone)

  7. #7
    Do you want some brownies? Evil Homer's Avatar
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    Jan 2016

    It almost certainly would be Al Jean, without Reiss. As far as I know, nobody else wanted to do it. Meyer didn't mind heading the writer's room, but he didn't want to be showrunner, and reportedly turned down the role when asked.

  8. #8
    Pin Pal ManuelMaiden95's Avatar
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    May 2018

    If Mike Scully had stepped down after season 10 people would still say the show declined under his tenure but he would be seen in a more positive light.
    Season 10 is clearly post classic in my opinion but it's still the last season in which you can feel the last remnants of the classic era. It has the last semi classic episodes of the show like Bart the Mother, Wild Barts Can't Be Broken or Treehouse of Horror IX.

    I think the show would have declined no matter what, so season 11 wouldn't be much better than what it is today even with a different showrunner.
    It would probably be different, but most definetely a decline from season 10 which was already a drastic decline from the classic era.
    But my point still stands that if Scully left after season 10, and let's say Jean went on from there, he would be seen in a much better light because it would be easy to rationalize that the first 10 seasons were the classic ones. He would be in charge for only two seasons like all the other showrunners during the show's glorious years and people would say the show became post classic under Jean.

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