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"The Simpsons" (courtesy: FOX)

'The Simpsons' reached a major milestone in TV history with 600 episodes and counting


The classic Western series "Gunsmoke" is the only scripted show in U.S. television history to reach more than 600 episodes, according to CBS News

But all that changes Sunday, when "The Simpsons" airs its 600th episode. 

The show has been a fixture on Sunday nights since 1989. 

The creator, Matt Groening named the characters after members of his own family, including his mother, Marge, and his father, Homer. 

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Originally, the show aired as a series of animated shorts during "The Tracey Ullman Show" on Fox in 1987. 

Because of the show's popularity, the network decided to put the animated sitcom in primetime in 1989 and it became an instant hit. 

Al Jean, who has been the executive producer of the show since its primetime debut, told CBS News that people related to "The Simpsons" because the family is so dysfunctional.

"There were some criticisms at the beginning, but who comes from a functional family, really? I mean who comes from a family where everything is perfect and it's like 'Leave It to Beaver'? This doesn't exist," Jean told CBS News. 

Early reviews of the show called it "wicked," "weird" and "wonderful." 

Jean explained that the show has a little bit of something for everyone. He said kids like it because of the format and adults just like the content and the pop culture references. 

Sunday night's episode, "Treehouse of Horror XXVIII," begins with the traditional couch gag which has been turned into 360-degree virtual reality experience. 

Anyone with a smartphone and a $5 cardboard viewer can watch the couch gag in VR after the episode airs Sunday night, according to Yahoo.  

Episode 600 airs Sunday, Oct. 16, at 8 p.m. on Fox. 

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