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Finally, Bart Simpson is Drawn to HD

It took a bit longer than most of the other long-running TV favorites, but finally the longest-running entertainment series currently on network television will be drawn (somewhat literally) to HD specifications, said Fox, home network of “The Simpsons.” By the end of 2009, the show will be on-air in first-run status for 20 consecutive years.

The first HD episode is set to air on Sunday, Feb. 15 (8 p.m. EST).

The program, which few may remember was actually a spin-off of itself in longer form, premiered in December 1989 after it appeared several times as short segments on the original “Tracy Ullman Show” on Fox. Besides featuring the voices of such longtime Simpson vets as actors Julie Kavner and Harry Shearer, its stable of former writers includes late-night talk show host Conan O’Brien.

Simpson scholars may argue that, technically speaking, Homer, Bart and friends have already been seen in HD when their full-length motion picture aired on an HBO HD channel in 2007. But the weekly episodes have not made the leap to HD (720p, in the case of Fox) until now.

Read all of HD Notebookhere.