The Simpsons to air first one-hour episode

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The Simpsons will be airing an hour-long episode in January.

It will be the first time the half-hour animated series has expanded to a full hour, Fox said.

Al Jean, executive producer of the series, included a political shot in announcing the episode.

Smithers and Mr Burns from The Simpsons
Smithers and Mr Burns from The Simpsons (20thC Fox/Everett/Rex/Shutterstock)

"I just pray it won't be the last thing people see before a Trump inauguration," Al said in a statement.

Taraji P Henson, who plays Cookie on Fox's Empire and Keegan-Michael Key will guest star.

Taraji voices Praline, the former wife of a music mogul who has conned Mr Burns into bankruptcy.

Taraji P Henson at the Golden Globe Awards
Taraji P Henson at the Golden Globe Awards (Jordan Strauss/Invision/PA)

Keegan-Michael voices a rapper, Jazzy James, who joins with Praline, Homer and Bart to help Mr Burns seek revenge.

The airdate for the episode, titled The Great Phatsby, a play on the classic The Great Gatsby, has not yet been announced.

The Simpsons begins its 28th season on September 25 and will reach its 600-episode milestone October 16.