The Simpsons have been a staple on prime time Television for over 20 years. Now, a salary dispute is putting season #23 in question. Networks have been looking everywhere they can to find a place where they can save a buck, that includes trying to get the talent to take a pay cut.
The main argument between FOX execs and the principal players on the show:
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)
The execs have suggested that if the actors don’t accept a 45% cut in their salary than they will probably be replaced by actors who can do the same voices for less money.
It isn’t that the actors aren’t willing to play ball. They offered to take a 30% cut with the caveat that they get a small percentage of the profits from syndication and merchandising.
It has reached the point where insiders are saying that FOX is willing to just kill the show and call it a day. After all, they still make tons of money off syndication, even if they never film another episode.
I guess the bigger question is… how much gas is really left int he tank? Hundreds of episodes, a feature film, what is there really left? Simpsons is not what it was in it’s hey day. Sure, it is a lot funnier than some other stuff that is out there, but it isn’t what it used to be. Maybe this is just nature’s way of helping things to their inevitable conclusion.