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The Simpsons Nabs A Massive Shondaland Star To Voice Bart's New Teacher

"The Simpsons" may be primarily known for the laughs it's provided over the years, but the animated sitcom knows when to get somber when the occasion calls for it. This was particularly evident in how the show handled the passing of Marcia Wallace, who had voiced Bart's teacher Edna Krabappel since the show's beginning. Wallace passed away in 2013 due to pneumonia-related breast cancer, and as a result, "The Simpsons" officially retired her character. While the show tiptoed around Krabappel's death for a while, it became clear in the show's canon she passed away in the Season 32 episode, "Diary Queen."

Since those events transpired, the show has usually steered away from showing Bart and his classmates in the fourth-grade classroom, although a few substitutes have gone toe-to-toe with Bart over the last few years. Bart's shenanigans have primarily taken place outside of the school, usually on the playground or in his home, so the show has managed to get away with not finding a permanent replacement. However, it appears that's about to change as Bart's about to get a brand new teacher in an upcoming episode.

Kerry Washington will voice Bart's new teacher, Ms. Peyton

Entertainment Weekly offers the inside scoop of Bart's new teacher, Ms. Peyton, who will be voiced by none other than "Scandal" star Kerry Washington. Whereas other guest stars have had one-and-done performances in the past, it seems as though Ms. Peyton will stick around for a while. She'll make her debut on the episode "My Octopus and a Teacher" on Fox, and according to co-executive producer Carolyn Omine, "She's really good at figuring out what the kids need, but she can't really figure out what [Bart's] problem is until he finally comes clean."

EW also provided a clip from the episode where Ms. Peyton goes around the classroom to see how the students' art projects are going where they depict themselves. She's able to analyze how they view themselves, which takes a turn once she gets to Bart. Washington spoke to EW about her new role, "Like all the best teachers, she knows that her students have just as much to teach her as she has to teach them. And teaching Bart is a job filled with growth opportunities."

The article goes on to mention how Ms. Peyton will be a different take on the cynical, burnout teachers that have tended to populate Springfield Elementary over the years (Mr. Bergstrom not included). Omine goes on to say, "We thought, 'Let's just make this different, let's make her a good teacher.' Sometimes it's hard to find comedy in people that are good, but then you think about people like Leslie Knope. They're just a bit too much, but they're good at their job." No one could ever replace Ms. Krabappel, but Ms. Peyton sounds like a breath of fresh air everyone at the school desperately needs. Fans will be able to watch her debut episode when it airs on Fox on April 24 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.