'The Simpsons' May Be Facing Cancellation
Heated contract negotiations threaten the iconic animated series
All those diehard fans of the FOX mainstay The Simpsons, who grew up with the beloved animated series for the past 23 seasons, may soon have to face the bittersweet reality that all good things come to an end.
The Simpsons, which is the longest-running sitcom in televison history, could be facing cancellation at the end of the current season if the production studio and the current actors can't reach a monetary agreement. The studio execs are reportedly forcing a 45 percent paycut on the six primary actors who voice the iconic show, according to The Daily Beast.
This news comes after the voice actors — Dan Castellaneta (who voices Homer, Grandpa Simpson, Krusty the Clown, etc.), Julie Kavner (Marge and others), Nancy Cartwright (Bart), Yeardley Smith (Lisa), Hank Azaria (Moe, Chief Wiggum, and Apu), and Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Principal Skinner, Ned Flanders, etc.) — proposed taking on a 30 percent paycut in exchange for a small percentage of profits earned from syndication and merchandising.
"The show has made billions in profits over the years and will continue to do so as far as the eye can see down the road. The actors are willing to take a pay cut of roughly a third, but that's not good enough for Fox," said an insider for the show.
The execs of The Simpsons, a show that paved the way for such animated phenomena as Family Guy and South Park, is refusing the deal and countering by threatening to enforce a the 45 percent paycut with no further benefits for the actors. "Now Fox is basically saying, 'if you don't take this deal, we'll shut down the show,'" said the insider. "They're free to sell it to cable and a second round of syndication, and they figure that the cast has very little leverage."
For now, The Simpsons still airs in its age-old timeslot, 8 p.m. on Sunday nights.