UPDATE: Bart Simpson appears to have quelled rumors that Homer and Marge were breaking up. On The Simpsons' official Twitter account, a new photo shows an angry-looking Bart in front of a chalkboard writing "Homer and Marge are not breaking up" repeatedly. The show also tweeted a picture of the couple and wrote "¡Marge y Homero para siempre!" ("Marge and Homer forever.")
Homer and Marge Simpson have built television's longest-running marriage. But that historic streak will end in the show's upcoming 27th season – after an unexpected illness rips apart the animated couple. "In the premiere, it's discovered after all the years Homer has narcolepsy, and it's an incredible strain on the marriage," Simpsons executive producer Al Jean tells Variety in a new interview. "Homer and Marge legally separate, and Homer falls in love with his pharmacist," a character voiced by Girls creator-star Lena Dunham. (It's a sad – and hopefully temporary – move, but it's interesting to think what a Bachelor Homer might become.)
Elsewhere in the wide-ranging chat, Jean previews some other plot points from Season 27, including a stylistic parody of an Oscar-winning film, the return of Spider-Pig and a cameo from Sideshow Bob, wherein fans will see the criminal "finally. . . do something he's wanted to do for 25 years." (Jean doesn't specify whether Bart will meet his demise. Either way, the writers have been in a morbid mood lately.)
"We'll have cameos from the other women from Girls," Jean continues. "We have an episode coming up where Lisa befriends a homeless woman who turns out to be an incredible singer. The woman's voiced by Kate McKinnon, but the singing is done by Natalie Maines. . . We have an episode based on the film Boyhood. It's a flashback/flashforward about Bart. We go to various points in his life and his life to come, which I think came out really well."
Among other topics, Jean also discusses missed opportunities for guest stars ("Sadly, we would have wanted Neil Armstrong and J.D. Salinger, but they both passed away"), the show's long-running legacy and the generous spirit of late Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon, who died from terminal cancer in March.
"He was the guy who taught me how to run the show," Jean says. "He's a huge part of what made The Simpsons a success. As for the philanthropic stuff, there's even more to it than people know. He was a very generous man, and it's still being felt. I've never seen someone who passed away who still seemed so alive."
The Simpsons Season 27 premieres September 27th on Fox.