To honor the memory of recently deceased The Simpsons actress Marcia Wallace, who provided the voice of teacher Edna Krabappel, Fox is making a programming swap to Sunday’s lineup, EW reports. The network will be replacing an American Dad rerun set for 7:30 p.m. with an Edna-centric classic episode of The Simpsons: “Bart the Lover.” The special airing will be followed by a new episode titled “4 Regrettings and a Funeral,” which will include a tribute card from the producers honoring Wallace (and boast an extra long Hobbit-spoofing couch gag).
“Bart the Lover,” for which Wallace was awarded an Emmy in 1992, showed a tender side to rakish prankster Bart and offered a sympathetic look at his snarky teacher. When Bart discovers Krabappel has taken out a personal ad, he begins sending her fake love letters. But when a fake date he sets up leaves Edna sitting alone at a restaurant for hours, he no longer sees the fun in his joke and sets about making things right.
The news comes along with a statement from exec producer Al Jean that, while the character will be retired due to Wallace’s death, fans still have a full year of episodes featuring the popular spinster. Jean also told TMZ that Krabappel was not the character the producers had been planning to kill off, per an earlier hint.