Doh! Simpsons Renewed for Two More Seasons
Fox renewed 'The Simpsons' for an additional two seasons. This will bring the TV's longest running prime time show to a record 25 seasons.
The voice actors who used to earn US$440,000 per episode agreed to receive a pay cut lowering their per-episode income to US$300,000, sources say.
Earlier, negotiations took a standstill when the network announced that based on the current business model, it was impossible to produce any future Simpsons episode. It said that salary cuts were needed in order for the show to survive. Fox had wanted them to accept US$250,000 per episode pay.
The actors negotiated to a US$300,000 pay but with the provision that they get a share of the merchandising and syndication profits. Fox declined the offer. Eventually, they agreed to the US$300,000 per episode pay but without the profit sharing.
Harry Shearer who voices Ned Flanders, said he had been told that there were "simply no circumstances under which the network would consider allowing me or any of the actors to share in the show's success".
Conceding that their salaries were "ridiculous by any normal standard", Shearer added that it was "hard to believe that this is Fox's final word on the subject" with regards to profit sharing.
The announcement came about five hours after a noon deadline the networks gave the actors to accept or reject the initial $250,000 per episode offer.
After the agreement of both parties, Fox released a statement Friday saying: "In the words of Homer Simpson, 'Woo Hoo! I outlasted Andy Rooney!'"
The voice actors pay has been a continuous issue throughout the years of the Simpsons. In 1998, the voice actors negotiated a pay increase from US$30,000 per episode to US$125,000.
In 2004, there was a one month hiatus as the actors again asked for an increase for around $360,000
Around 2008, the show was experienced several months of delay after contract negotiations stalled over a new four-year deal which saw cast members' pay packets increase to $400,000 per episode
The show will be back with all-new episodes starting with “Treehouse of Horrors XXII,” on Sunday, Oct. 30.