Two years after making their first appearance in short episodes on The Tracey Ullman Show, The Simpsons debuted as a half hour series on the Fox network on December 17 1989.
The series was created by writer and cartoonist Matt Groening, with producers James L. Brooks and Sam Simon.
The pilot episode, entitled ‘Some Enchanted Evening,’ had been due to air in the autumn of 1989.
However, issues with the quality of the animation in the early episodes led to broadcast being pushed back to December.
Instead the Christmas Special, entitled ‘Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire’, was the first time that audiences encountered Homer and Marge and their children Bart, Lisa and Maggie.
Viewers had to wait until the second episode however, ‘Bart the Genius’ broadcast in January 1990, before getting their first glimpse of the now famous opening title sequence.
In 2012 the show celebrated its 500th episode and entered its twenty-eighth season in September 2016, making it the longest-running prime-time animated series and longest-running sitcom in the United States.