- Dec 12, 2009
What's unusual about that? There were only 21 episodes last year.
An episode in June - Fox did that with Bob's Burgers last year.
One or more episodes in September "before the 'official' season premiere" - Fox burned off the last of its pre-TBS American Dad! episodes in September, and there was one season of New Girl where Fox aired two new episodes on its season premiere night, but as the first one was an hour the show's normal time slot, Fox didn't count it as being part of the new season.
Start Season 30 early - Fox has done this as well; a season of Glee started before Labor Day, and "of course" there was Season 6 of The Simpsons which started on Labor Day weekend, back when that was the opening weekend of the NFL season, because Fox had just acquired its NFL rights.
Actually, we had 22 episodes last season.
Seasons 12, 16, and 20 each had 21 episodes.
Season 19 had only 20 episodes due to a combination of the Writers Guild of America strike and contract negotiations with the voice actors.
The reason why I am citing a 22 episode season is because that is the mode amount of episodes per season.
It could even be possible that FOX may show new episodes outside of Sunday. A few years back I even suggested that they could move The Simpsons to either Tuesday or Wednesday when the football season was over in which it could have better ratings if it aired after American Idol but with FOX axing American Idol, that blows that idea for the lead in.