"Stupid TV!" Homer Simpson once said, "Be more funny!" Now it's the show's creators saying those words. Simpsons ratings are sliding, with 6.7 million viewers watching this season - about half as many as a decade ago. As a result, Fox is feeling an increased push to capitalize on the show's franchise. There's also pressure to keep the jokes coming and the show fresh, which will allow creators to launch an aggressive new marketing strategy to boost revenues. They're expanding the franchise to stay abreast of trends, by launching Simpsons postage stamps, Hallmark cards, limited edition guitars, and theme park rides. "There were times years ago when we probably would not have done some of the products we're doing today," said a Fox executive. "But society, culture and the marketplace evolve. The sensibilities of the show evolve."
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