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"The Critic" was a modern animated sitcom created by Al Jean and Mike Reiss (both former writers on "The Simpsons") for American Broadcasting Company (ABC) in 1994 but it moved to Fox Broadcasting Company in 1995. The series started in January 1994 and it was canceled despite good ratings after only two season, but it continued to gain popularity through airings on Comedy Central. Consequently, "The Critic" is currently available on DVD. Intended for a broader audience than contemporary cartoons "The Simpsons" and "Duckman," the series focused its parodies on American movies and television. The main character was Jay Sherman, a film critic voiced by Jon Lovitz.

Unlike "South Park" and "Family Guy," "The Critic" had a somewhat amicable working relationship with "The Simpsons" and there were numerous cross-overs, especially when the show moved to the same network. Interestingly, Matt Groening did not want to do crossovers but executive producer James L. Brooks did. As a result, Groening refused to allow his name to be shown in the credits or discuss the episode on the later DVD commentary, allegedly feeling that it served as a 30-minute advertisement for "The Critic."

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