Simpsons” cast reaches two-year deal with Fox TV

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The Simpsons

The Simp­sons

Voice actors for “The Simp­sons” came to a two-year agree­ment Fri­day with 20th Cen­tury Fox Tele­vi­sion, the stu­dio that pro­duces the long-running ani­mated hit for the Fox network.

Although terms were not dis­closed, the deal ended an impasse of sev­eral days between the two sides. The Simp­sons will run for a total of at least 25 seasons.

Fox Tele­vi­sion ini­tially had sought to cut the actors’ pay­checks by as much as 45%. The main cast mem­bers now make $440,000 per episode. “Peo­ple close to the sit­u­a­tion not autho­rized to talk pub­licly about the mat­ter” said that the stu­dio wanted the actors to keep doing the show for about $250,000, the Los Ange­les Times reported.

In a state­ment released Fri­day before the new deal was reached, Harry Shearer (voice of Mr. Burns and Ned Flan­ders) said that cast mem­bers’ salaries “pale in com­par­i­son to what the show’s profit par­tic­i­pants have been tak­ing home.”

The stu­dio had resisted an offer to accept smaller salaries in return for part of what is known as the back-end. The cast had sug­gested that it would agree to a major pay cut in exchange for a por­tion of the company’s income from reruns and other related rev­enue sources.

Shearer said in his state­ment that he’d take a salary cut of as much as 70% if the net­work gave a share of back-end prof­its. How­ever, Fox has still adamantly refuses to do so, he said.

Accord­ing to ana­lysts and com­pany insid­ers, News Corp. — the par­ent com­pany of Fox Tele­vi­sion and the Fox net­work — has made over $1 bil­lion in profit from the show. But the stu­dio claimed that it had to cut the actors’ salaries to keep pro­duc­tion affordable.

The Fox net­work pays over $5 mil­lion for each Simp­sons episode. “Two peo­ple with knowl­edge of the sit­u­a­tion” say that Fox is los­ing money on the new episodes its broad­cast­ing, the Los Ange­les Times said.

Asked on Fri­day if she wanted the series to con­tinue, Nancy Cartwright (voice of Bart) said in a state­ment: “Absolutely! The Simp­sons is a remark­able chron­i­cle of our times. I’ve wanted to do this since I was 16! And I want to keep doing it until I am 86! Long live the Simpsons!”

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