The Simpsons' Future at Risk in Midst of Salary Standoff Between Studio and Cast

It looks like 20th Century Fox Television might be about to go with the nuclear option when it comes to a salary dispute with cast members of its long-running animated staple The Simpsons — and we’re not talking about a situation involving Mr. Burns’ dubious Springfield Power Plant.

Instead, the studio is considering pulling the plug on the longest-running scripted show on television at the end of its current 23rd season due to a contract battle with the show’s six main actors, The Daily Beast is reporting. “We believe this brilliant series can and should continue, but we cannot produce future seasons under its current financial model,” the company said in a statement.

Reportedly, the actors in question — Dan Castellaneta (Homer), Julie Kavner (Marge), Nancy Cartwright (Bart), Yeardley Smith (Lisa), Hank Azaria, and Harry Shearer — proposed taking a 30 percent pay cut in exchange for a small share of the show’s back-end earnings, while 20th Century Fox is insistent on a 45 percent salary reduction.

Would you miss The Simpsons if the show calls it a day at the end of Season 23? Take our poll below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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39 Comments
  1. Mike says:

    For sure I would miss the Simpsons. I’m 24 since a few days – I know the Simpsons since … since ever. :/

    • Joseph says:

      I agree. this show has been around for more then 2 decades and is still doing well.

      The question about money does not make any sense, they make a ton of cash with this show and it has been holding its own on Sunday nights, plus it makes a huge amount of money in repeats, syndication, streaming deals and products.

      The should share that tiny amount of the profits being asked by the actors.

    • jenna says:

      completely agree! Yes the quality of the show is going downhill and becoming more and more like family guy (which too me is a bad thing) but I’ve been watching this show forever and would be devastated if it was cancelled

      • mike says:

        agreed! What I liked about the simpsons, compared to family guy, was that there was an actual storyline as opposed to random unfunny jokes strug together. Yes the quality of the show has gone downhill but the characters still have the same amount of heart they’ve always had

    • Joseph says:

      Okay ,, TRIVIA ,,,

      Did you know that one of the creators of the show was Richard Appel, and that he named the show after his formed wife , Mona Simpson ,, and did you know that Mona Simpson is in fact the full blood sister of Steve Jobs ,, a sister that Steve did not know he had until he was 27.

  2. Ellen says:

    This show has been on SO long and the production company and the voice performers make SO much money, that I can’t even relate. My interest in how this story turns out is zero.

  3. Joanne says:

    I would be devestated…. this cant end this way… I am hoping it works out… This is a great show this is MY show… please dont let it be this way

    • KevyB says:

      They need to take a page from Carol Burnett: Go out on top, not on the bottom. If they leave now, they can still make successful feature films, Halloween and Xmas specials, and keep the merch cranking. If not, they’ll burn their ability to do any of that.

  4. JG says:

    Maybe if they weren’t paying J.Lo, Ryan Seacrest, and Simon Cowell disgusting amounts of money they’d be able to afford to keep a show that built the network and makes them more money overseas.

    • Roger says:

      Thank you! Fox should settle at the 30% pay cut 45 is huge!

    • Ben says:

      Actually, American Idol makes them plenty of money overseas. And, you know, a LOT more money at home. And the Simpsons won’t stop making them money if they can it, either. It will be around on reruns for ever.

      30%, 45% – both are huge, but then you have to know the starting salary to decide whether it’s reasonable.

    • DL says:

      Or paying $100 million for 13 episodes of so-so Terra Nova.

      • Nadine says:

        So agree! Classic FOX: let’s spend a lot of money on technical stuff but skimp on the writing and talent in general. Terra Nova’s scripts are very lame so far, hope it improves.

  5. yes says:

    yes !! finally !!, the simpsons are AWFUL now, they had 5 good seasons, the rest are unfunny

    • DL says:

      Fail troll post is fail.

      • asdasd says:

        Opinion is not equal to troll.
        And unfortunately I agree with him. The show stopped being funny. It’s an icon, and I have good memories with it, but frankly in my honest opinion it has sucked the past few years.

        Of course, saying since season 5 is a little extreme :b

  6. Gerald says:

    While I do love The Simpsons and I would definitely miss the show, I feel its time to end it. I know this show since ever but 23 is a lot… Enough with the demands of more money!

  7. Snapy says:

    The Simpsons is STILL awesome. It needs to stay on the air for as long as humanly possible. Dammit Fox, give the cast what they want!!

  8. Cosmab says:

    Life sans Simps wud B quite DIRE!!!! FOX sucks, always has. Didn’t think I cud hate Fox more, but that’d do it.

  9. RS says:

    Wait, wait, wait. So they’re willing to take a pay CUT (as opposed to how actors usually demand raises), and it’s not a BIG ENOUGH cut? Because that looks pretty big to me already; what they’re proposing is ridiculous. I don’t care how much you make — asking someone to accept basically half their pay overnight isn’t fair.

    • RS says:

      whoops, missed a sentence there. I guess it would depend on how much they expect to make off the back-end earnings. Perhaps it’s more fair than I suspect?

  10. Todd says:

    It’s hardly a request for MORE money. They’re saying they are willing to take a 30% cut!!

  11. Chris says:

    The Simpsons should end someday, but not like this.

  12. Mike says:

    Fox is making a mistake. Plenty of channels would kill for that show. Plus Seth MacFarlane might try something since he’s such openly a huge Simpsons fan

  13. damian says:

    No way will it get cancelled. Even if Fox were stupid enough to do that ANY of the other networks would snap it up in a heartbeat. Considering the huge property that comes with it. Fox has to know this. Then again they probably don’t, they usually unceremoniously dump their long running shows that help make them successful (Married with children, Americas most wanted, king of the hill, Malcom in the Middle to a lesser extent)

  14. tvaddict says:

    These voice actors make an obscene amount of money for very, very, VERY little work.

    • Nadine says:

      I understand your point, but the voice actors make a very small amount compared to what the show generates. The fact is, they are entitled to that amount and even more.

  15. kegger says:

    Wait. They offer to take a pay cut of 30 percent and that isn’t good enough?!

  16. Guy says:

    Sorry but this is a joke in huge proportions. FOX make BILLIONS off The Simpsons and they want the voices behind the show to take a pay cut? Seriously FOX what the hell. This is a classic case. Sure its a lot of money but this show is huge worldwide regardless. Sorry but i think FOX should pay them.

  17. BK says:

    Just let The Simpsons die in peace already. Lord knows its 12 years too late to let them die gracefully.

  18. Nadine says:

    I would be devasted if The Simpsons left the air. Some people love to point out that the show is past its prime, but it’s still a fantastic show with very creative writers and talents. I don’t understand why studio execs begrudge giving their talents their fair share.

  19. Allison says:

    It’s the lead-in for Fox’s Animation Domination. Why would Fox axe it? Do they just want to run shows created by Seth McFarlane?

    I don’t care what anyone says. The Simpsons is still a great show, and I’m sure another network would pick it up in a heartbeat.

    Fox cancelled Futurama and Comedy Central picked it up and the show has been successful.

    I will not watch Animation Domination anymore if Fox cancels The Simpsons.

  20. (!) says:

    Man, I miss Married with Children =/

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