Is the end of The Simpsons nigh?

The day we thought would never come may indeed be upon us. The cast of The Simpsons are at a loggerheads with 20th Century Fox Television, and it could result in the cancellation of the longest-running sitcom (and perhaps the greatest television show) of all time.

According to The Daily Beast, Fox is insisting the voice cast accept a 45 per cent pay cut, or face the axe at the end of the current 23rd season. Actors Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer each earn around $8 million a year for their troubles. Although a reduced price of $4 million a piece is nothing to sneeze at, it’s a serious downgrade for the performers (who have threatened to walk in the past over pay disputes).

The actors suggested a 30 per cent cut across the board (in exchange for a small percentage of the show’s back-end profits from merchandising and syndication). It was rejected.

Fox issued the following statement:

“23 seasons in, The Simpsons is as creatively vibrant as ever and beloved by millions around the world. We believe this brilliant series can and should continue, but we cannot produce future seasons under its current financial model. We are hopeful that we can reach an agreement with the voice cast that allows The Simpsons to go on entertaining audiences with original episodes for many years to come.”

Although hardly the cultural marker it once was, The Simpsons is indeed still something of a key ratings winner for the Fox network in the U.S. (and around the world).

But it makes sense for Fox to pull the plug on the show in a financial sense. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio could sell off syndication rights to cable and online channels (previously prevented by their current deal) and potentially net $750 million in the process.

Discuss: The show’s undeniably had a good run. Should the sun finally set on Springfield? Or should Fox continue to support their defining TV show?

10 Responses to “Is the end of The Simpsons nigh?”

  1. the simpsons is the best show ever so DO NOT CANCEL IT

  2. I’m not surprised at this. Fox is a Murdock run News Corporation organisation and we all know how they treat the public and employees – total disregard.

  3. I hope they don’t cancel it 😦 I have loved the show from the very beginning!

  4. The actors should take a bigger cut and a percent of on-going syndication royalties. Fox/Murdock are so greedy, like Catherine said, total disregard for other people: staff, celebrities, royal families and their viewers. It’s probably time the Simpsons had a revamp anyway. Some new characters, maybe even let the kids grow a little older. . .

  5. what the actors are making $8 million each for doing voice-overs and Murdoch is greedy? get real people

    • Err, yes he is. The actors get paid what they negotiated to get paid after so many years of service and good on them. Fox/Murdoch makes billions over the years from the program. Why do you think Charlie Sheen was getting over a million dollars an episode? The cast of Friends before they pulled the plug? Because it was worth it to the network. They bring in the viewers and generated millions of fans who bought everything with a show logo or character’s image stamped on it. At the end of the day, what people get paid is their own business but for Murdoch to kill off the Simpsons because the cast won’t accept their pay being cut in half, nor will he negotiate, that is unfair and indeed – GREEDY! If he wants to save some money, just put more advertisers on Foxtel. Oh, hang on, he already did that, which is why I no longer pay for TV.

  6. Having been a pretty much lifelong fan (I’m only 29) I must admit I’m not too upset by the news. I think the Simpons have reached a point where they can never really disappear even if another episode is never made. Of course I’d like to see it continue but its defiantly reached that point of TV immortality.

  7. im lucky to get 1 thousand a year and they have the hide to start complaining about a 4 million pay cut they are still left with 4 mill they are greedy seriously they needah get a grip on reality which is that alot of people struggle to keep thier homes while they are being paid to literally just speak into a microphone in different voices ps. i loved the simpsoms but with spin offs like family guy, american dad ect they are lossing thier once crowded fanbase… 23 seasons is a miracle for a tv series especially a cartoon and it would be good to continue it but if they are gonna be greedy about it then im glad its gonna be over. i love the simpsons but like i said maybey its time for them to be laid to rest….

  8. people are saying the * sun has set on the Simpsons * well after 23 seasons something had to give, either the cast would get too greedy about pay disputes or it finally became undeniably ( financially wise ) not able to continue in its current form. how many shows have suffered the very same fate over the last 15 to 20 years.?. besides with syndication running full steam ahead these days it has become a moot point. do we carry on trying to propping up a show that is financially killing us, or do we at long last give it the death blow so that the shows bows out when its on a high and still popular all over the world. its time to get real people like it or not in these financially troubling times even the biggest and brightest shows can fall by the wayside so before it ( the simpson’s ) goes the way of the dinosaur and dies an ignoble and ratings painful death let it bow out gracefully while its still riding the wave of popularity it has currently. O.o O.o

  9. please don’t cancel the show. i have watched the show for my entire life. i will be sad if its cancelled

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