'The Simpsons' may end if voice actors don't take pay cut
In case you hadn't recovered from the earth-shattering news that brilliant but ruthless consumer products salesman Steve Jobs tragically passed away, you're going to have to get used to the idea of life without The Simpsons, too. That is, if you're not one of the people who stopped watching way back around season 11.
TheWrap.com says 20th Century Fox Television wants one more season of TV's longest-running program, but only if it can lop 25 to 30 percent off the overhead. Producers have already agreed to salary cuts (a whopping 45 percent, according to Variety), but now it's up to the six main voice actors.
Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Harry Shearer and Hank Azaria reportedly said they would agree to pay cuts from $440,000 per episode to $300,000, plus back-end payments they don't currently get, but Fox said no -- it's $250,000 per episode or nothing. That would reduce their salaries from $8 million to $4 million, Variety notes.
An exec tells TheWrap that new episodes are no longer profitable for the company, but they still want to finish things up with a 24th and final season. "The cuts proposed to actors are in line with cuts proposed to others involved in the show," the source said. "The object here is not for the actors to pay personally for the reduction."
The sextet have until Friday to respond. If negotiations fall through, the series would have to work at breakneck speed to slap together a series finale that would air next year, and in all likelihood be perfectly awful. Between this and the Monday Night Football theme song, stuff that started in 1989 is really taking a beating this week.