There's one country in particular that has never warmed to The Simpsons and it drives the show's writers "crazy".

Mike Reiss, who has worked on all 29 seasons of the animated series, spoke to Variety about the one market Homer and the family have never been able to crack.

"There is a funny aspect to The Simpsons in that they have a liberal stance and an anarchic stance, but they also want world domination," Reiss said.

"It drives some people [at The Simpsons] crazy that the Japanese don't watch our show. We cannot get them interested."


"Japan is the biggest market in the world that we haven't conquered. I think, 'Why do you care? We're not Alexander the Great, we're just a cartoon show!'"

The Japanese may not be on board, but viewers in the Middle East are ... now.

There was a small hiccup in 2005 when Arabic satellite TV station, MBC, launched a version of The Simpsons called Al Shamshoon.

Homer's name was changed to Omar Shamshoon and scenes involving alcohol and pork were edited out.

"You must understand that we did not simply dub, but we Arabized the concept, and we toned it down a bit," Badih Fattouh, the head of acquisitions and drama commissioner for MBC 1 said in 2007.

"We toned [down] the language - we Arabised it in the cultural sense."

Al Shamshoon bombed but The Simpsons, which is now broadcast unedited and with Arabic subtitles on the Fox Series channel, has since found success.

"It boggles my mind," Mike Reiss said to Variety about the show finding an audience in the Middle East.

"You know, we write it in a little room in L.A. We don't even think, 'Will they get it in the Valley? Or will they understand it in Tennessee?' So the fact that they like it here in the Arab world is mind-blowing."