FOX has formally ordered a 23rd season of "The Simpsons."
 
Sure, with the show's long-lead animation production schedule, the renewal was 100 percent a foregone conclusion, but that doesn't make the numbers for "The Simpsons" any less impressive.
 
Currently early in its 22nd season, "The Simpsons" will have completed 515 episodes by the end of Season 23.
 
"Like many 22-year-olds, 'The Simpsons' is extremely happy remaining at home, on FOX, and hopes it doesn't have to go out into the real world for many years to come," states long-time series executive producer and showrunner Al Jean.
 
"The Simpsons" has been passing milestones left and right these past few years. In 2007, "The Simpsons Movies" finally premiered and took in more than $525 million worldwide. A ride opened at Universal Studios in 2008. Springfield's favorite yellow family was put on a stamp in 2009. And just this January, "The Simpsons" celebrated the end of its 20th anniversary celebration with the airing of the show's 450th episode. 
 
The instinct is to channel Comic Book Guy and say that "The Simpsons" isn't what it used to be back in Season 4 or Season 11 or Season 17 or whatever season you want to point to as a high point. The series still earned five Emmy nominations in 2010, including Outstanding Animated Program and won an Emmy for Anne Hathaway's guest vocal work. In all, "The Simpsons" has won 27 Emmys.
 
While ratings for "The Simpsons" have certainly dropped in recent years, the show is still a strong opening leg for FOX's Animation Domination Sunday block and still draws big ratings among young viewers. In addition  -- and you certainly don't need us telling you this -- between DVDs and toys and t-shirts and games and countless other products, the series itself is only the tip of the "Simpsons" promotional iceberg.