‘The Simpsons’ faces possible cancellation over actors’ pay

By Kase Wickman
Tuesday, October 4, 2011 12:44 EDT
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Fox’s long-running popular animated show “The Simpsons” may come to an abrupt halt this spring after its 23rd season on air because of a financial dispute between the show’s voice actors and the network, The Daily Beast reported.

The six principal voice actors on the series have been asked by the network to take a 45 percent pay cut. They refused, instead proposing a 30 percent pay cut and a small percentage of the show’s back-end profits from merchandise and syndication, a source told The Daily Beast.

The network reportedly refused.

Currently, the six principal voice actors make about $8 million apiece for the 22 weeks of work they put in per season. Under Fox’s proposed cut, the actors would still make around $4 million apiece, but they make only small residuals from the show’s constant syndication.

Created by Matt Groening and James L. Brooks, “The Simpsons” is a multi-billion dollar enterprise and the longest-running sitcom ever on network TV.

The studio that produces the show, 20th Century Fox, has warned that if a satisfactory deal has not been reached, production will halt after the current season is finished.

“Fox is taking the position that unless they can cut the production costs really drastically, they’ll pull the plug on new shows,” a Simpsons insider told The Daily Beast. “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.”

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
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