We live in a glorious age of instant gratification, where the trend for entertainment is moving steadily towards things being shown live.

US TV in particular is going through a phase of throwing stuff up onto the air as it happens, with a number of live musicals being beamed around the world.

‘Course animation was always going to be the one area of TV that would forever resist the allure of live broadcasting.

Or, y’know… so we thought.

Proving that they’re somehow not completely out of ideas in the two-oh-one-six, The Simpsons has announced that they will air a “live” episode in the near future.

The episode, scheduled to air on May 15th, will close with a 3-minute segment featuring Homer Simpson speaking “live.” The other characters will depart to allow Homer time to comment on the events of the day, as well as field questions from Twitter.

The whole thing is being achieved through motion-capture technology, which voice actor Dan Castellaneta will rig himself up to in order to render Homer’s animated mouth in real-time, as Castellaneta provides live, on-the-fly voice work, utilising his reportedly “great” skills as an improviser.

The episode will broadcast two live segments – one when the show airs on the US East Coast, and one three hours later when it airs on the West Coast. Producers plan on including a few inventive surprises to “prove” that the segment is live.

Castellaneta will have writers and producers present to help feed him material to fill the 3-minute segment as well.

The motion capture technology has already been tested several times and, according to executive producer Al Jean, it “looks great.

You can get involved from May 1st, by Tweeting questions using the hashtag #HomerLive, which will stay open until May 4th. The advanced notice is being used to gain user permission to use the Tweets on air, and not to prepare any extra animation for Homer.

Or, y’know. So the story goes, at least.

Source: The Wrap.