The Critic is an American prime time animated series revolving around the life of New York film critic Jay Sherman, voiced by actor Jon Lovitz. It was created by writing partners Al Jean and Mike Reiss, who had previously worked as writers and showrunners (seasons 3 and 4) on The Simpsons. The Critic had 23 episodes produced, first broadcast on ABC in 1994, and finishing its original run on Fox in 1995. According to PopMatters, "the creators [said] they intended the series as their 'love letter to New York.'"
Episodes featured movie parodies with notable examples including a musical version of Apocalypse Now, Howard Stern's End (Howards End), Honey, I Ate the Kids (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids/The Silence of the Lambs), The Cockroach King (The Lion King), Abe Lincoln: Pet Detective (Ace Ventura: Pet Detective), Scent of a Jackass and Scent of a Wolfman (Scent of a Woman). The show often referenced popular movies such as Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and The Godfather, and routinely lampooned actor Marlon Brando and actor/director Orson Welles. They also spoofed Dudley Moore, usually as his character Arthur Bach from the 1981 film Arthur.
Despite the ratings improving, The Critic was cancelled after two seasons. It continued to air through reruns on Comedy Central and then on Locomotion. From February 1, 2000 to 2001, ten webisodes were later produced using Adobe Shockwave, and were broadcast on AtomFilms.com and Shockwave.com. In 2004, the DVD box set was released, which includes all 23 TV episodes (in their original production order) and the webisodes.
In the late 2000s, reruns of the show aired again on ReelzChannel in the US and on Teletoon's programming block Teletoon at Night in Canada. As of 2016, the first season can be viewed for free on Crackle.