Salary Negotiations May Halt Production on THE SIMPSONS Next Spring

by     Posted 2 years, 195 days ago

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I guess AMC isn’t the only network having problems negotiating with their highest profile series. Word is coming from The Daily Beast that Fox has come to a bit of an impasse in negotiations with the five lead actors of The Simpsons that may result in a halt of production on the long-running animated series after the 23rd season concludes next spring. Dan Castellaneta (Homer, Grampa Simpson, Krusty the Clown, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge, her sisters and others), Nancy Cartwright (Bart and more), Yeardley Smith (Lisa), Hank Azaria (Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum,  Apu Nahasapeemapetilo, and more), and Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Principal Skinner, Ned Flanders, and others) have all been told that they need to take a 45% pay cut, or risk being replaced with sound-alike actors after this season. More details on this worrisome issue after the jump.

Apparently, actors tried to negotiate for only a 30% pay cut in exchange for a small percentage of the back-end profits that result from sydication and merchandising, but the studio isn’t having it. While losing nearly half of their salary would be devastating to anyone with a job, the five lead actors would still make around $4 million a year, and that’s apparently just for 22 weeks of work. However, if they’re going to take a salary cut, I see no reason why the actors shouldn’t get a small piece of the huge profit pie from the billions Fox is making off syndication and merchandising, especially since these characters wouldn’t be so revered if it wasn’t for their stellar voice talent. An insider says, “Now Fox is basically saying, ‘If you don’t take this deal, we’ll shut down the show,’ and they’ll continue to make a ton of money. They’re free to sell it to cable and a second round of syndication, and they figure that the cast has very little leverage.” Because even without new episodes, the series still has 23 seasons to keep running in syndication, and a legacy that will keep memorabilia selling for years to come.

Honestly though, since The Simpsons has taken a dip in ratings and quality over the years, maybe it’s just time for the show to call it quits. Obviously the actors still want to work, but if an agreement can’t be reached, perhaps the James L. Brooks and Matt Groening will decide to end the series once and for all. If not, I hope the studio doesn’t end up winning this battle, simply because they’re obviously raking in plenty of dough on the back-end and not sharing the wealth sufficiently.

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  • Robert Barry

    what a bunch ‘o’ bullshit. If I had a nickle every time something like this has happened. The show has had a long run so it might be time to end it anyway. I don’t give a dead mooses last shit if it stays on or not but at least pay the actors sufficiently for their work andn give them some back end that you asses are rolling in!

  • james

    So they make about $8 million a year now? $4 million after the pay cut? And is that per person or all together?

    • Ethan Anderton

      That’s $4 million salary for each actor.

  • grittymcgritterson

    forever hopefully? this show is a shell of its former self.

    • M&M

      Couldn’t agree more.

  • Sugreev2001

    I love the Simpsons,but I haven’t seen a new episode in ages.I never miss a new episode of Futurama,however…and I’m sure there are many others like me.

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  • james

    the show has gotten to a point where even something like this happening makes me happy. it’s gone 13 seasons too long and if this is what needs to happen for it to be finally euthanised, then so be it. i’ve lost all respect for this show after it won my allegiance with its first ten seasons.

    • Terry

      I agree with you James. The Simpsons it seems is only on the air just to set some sort of longevity record or sell more box sets.
      Every time I try watching any episode my stomach turns into knots. It sucks on so many levels. They have run the gamut of what made the Simpsons “The Simpsons”.
      That show, IMHO, has been on the air way past its prime.
      Dude, I stopped watching the Simpsons in the spring of 1990!

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