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The Simpsons Renewed for Two More Years

Vital Information for Your Everyday Life

After four days of tense speculation over how ultimate a number of ultimatums actually were, Fox Television has renewed The Simpsons for two more seasons, which will neatly bring the show to at least twenty-five total seasons, 559 episodes, and a round quarter century of television history.

The official press release was light on information, merely saying the show would be back for two more seasons, listing some of its accomplishments (Emmys, theme park attractions, etc.) and then describing this year’s Treehouse of Horror and mentioning that the show’s 500th episode will air this coming February.

What the release doesn’t describe is exactly what deal was made to keep the show on the air. Monday evening Fox announced that it was was asking the show’s voice actors to take a 45% pay cut (of some salaries that are pretty big to begin with, we’ll admit) or face cancellation. This was after actors offered, late last week, to take a 30% pay cut in exchange for a small percentage of the show’s back-end profits from syndication and merchandising, which is not an uncommon form of remuneration for actors in a long running and successful television show, particularly one with strong merchandising ties. This Thursday, The Simpsons producers also offered to take a pay cut to keep the show on the air. Friday, voice actor Harry Shearer announced he was willing to take a cut as low as 70% less than his current salary (see comments), but he had been told that there was no number low enough for Fox to renew the show for more than one season. As yet, there’s no way to know whether Fox took anyone up on their offers.

(via The Washington Post.)

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