The Simpsons' major character death will be 'bigger' than Game of Thrones
Fans of The Simpsons should start preparing themselves for the imminent death of a "terrific character".
Teasers so far suggest the character might not be who people are expecting, but it is known that the actor who plays them won an Emmy for their voiceover.
Al Jean, executive producer of the long-running animated series, has even gone so far as to hint at some Game of Thrones comparisons.
The HBO show shocked viewers with the death of a major character in its "Purple Wedding" episode earlier this month.
But The Simpsons is set to compete, with Jean joking that the show's "Yellow Wedding" will be "an even bigger deal" than the fantasy drama's storyline.
"People who reported on it then reported we were killing an 'iconic' character," he told US website TV Line. "I'd like to say it’s a great character, but I never used the word 'iconic'."
Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie seem likely to be spared, but this has not been confirmed. Hank Azaria, who has voiced Moe and Comic Book Guy among others, has ruled his characters out of the running. So could it be Sideshow Bob, Grampa or Lou?
"It's a terrific character and it [happens in] our premiere this coming year," Jean continued. "But just because a character is dying, that doesn’t mean he [or she] won’t pop up in future episode."
The decision to 'kill off' a character follows the show's decline in ratings. The award-winning cartoon series received its lowest viewing figures in the US this Sunday, pulling in just 3.4 m viewers.
Perhaps Jean wants to reassure dedicated fans after outrage was sparked by the death of Brian Griffin on Family Guy last November.
The much-loved pet dog's demise in a car accident led to online petitions demanding his return, with creator Seth MacFarlane eventually heeding to the overwhelming volume of requests.
Belfast Telegraph Digital