You don't get the title of "longest-running scripted show in TV history" without being popular.
And Fox's "The Simpsons", which has been on the air since 1989, has the marketing/retail take to prove that it is, indeed, still a force in animated TV series.
But the United States Postal Service may have overestimated, just a wee bit, that popularity. Or at least...the demand for stamps with the Simpson's likenesses on them.
The postal service decided to print one-billion...(yes, that's Billion, with a B)...Simpsons stamps featuring Homer, Marge, Lisa, Bart and Maggie to mark the show's 20th anniversary in 2009.
Only 320-million or so have sold...leaving approximately 680-million sitting around. And since they're 44-cent stamps, they'll likely be sitting around for a long, long time...since it now costs 45-cents to mail a letter in the USA.
The loss on printing the stamps...around $1.2-million.
In a section of the report entitled "Excessive Commemorative and Special Issue Stamps," as reported by Bloomberg, the Inspector General spells out how the USPS overproduced 2.1 billion commemorative and special issue stamps during 2009 and 2010, including the example of the wasted Simpsons stamps.
Another under-performer includes a Flags of our Nation series, which was overproduced by 380 million stamps, costing the USPS $716,000.
The report notes: "Nearly twice as many Simpsons stamps were printed than the most popular commemorative ever issued." That would be the a 29-cent stamp issued in 1993 to honor what would've been Elvis Presley's 58th birthday.
It adds that the Postal Service overproduced stamp stock for 37 of the 50 stamps issued during 2009 and 2010 by an average of 34%, and says it "did not identify concerns with underproduction of stamp stock, as officials ordered and distributed additional stamp stock as necessary."
Should the Post Office even be printing commemorative stamps in the first place??? In light of the USPS's recent default on a payment due to the US Treasury, is it time for them to just strip it down to the very basics?