The Simpsons

This makes me happy!

‘The Simpsons’ Cast Returns to Work with More D’oh
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The actors who provide the voices for Homer, Bart and the rest of the cartoon stars of Fox TV’s “The Simpsons” will return to work this week with twice as much “D’oh” in their pockets, having won a new contract collectively valued at $33 million a year.
The agreement ended a month-long strike that had threatened to shorten the upcoming 16th season of America’s longest-running television comedy.
Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but sources familiar with the situation told Reuters on Monday that the show’s six principal cast members doubled their pay from $125,000 to $250,000 per episode.
That would boost the earnings of each actor to $5.5 million a year for a 22-episode season, a tidy sum for what amounts to a day’s work per show but is far less than the $8 million originally sought by the cast. Collectively the deal was valued at $33 million a year.
Sources said the actors also gave up their key demand for a share in profits from the show, which reportedly has generated roughly $1.5 billion in revenues for producer 20th Century Fox Television since its 1989 debut.
“We couldn’t be happier to have reached a multiyear deal with the enormously talented cast of ‘The Simpsons,”‘ the studio said in a statement. “Fans will be pleased to know that despite our recent production delay, we are optimistic that they can look forward to a full season’s episodes next year on Fox and hopefully many years to come.”
Both the studio and the Fox network are units of Fox Entertainment Group Inc., which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Ltd.
The show centers on the antics of a bald, gluttonous family man and nuclear plant worker named Homer Simpson (known for his anguished exclamation “D’oh!”), his spiky-haired misfit son, Bart, and their friends and relatives in Springfield.
The producers and cast members — Dan Castellaneta (Homer), Nancy Cartwright (Bart), Yeardley Smith (sister Lisa), Julie Kavner (family matriarch Marge), Hank Azaria (bartender Moe and Apu the convenience store clerk) and Harry Shearer (Homer’s tyrannical boss, Mr. Burns, and his loyal assistant Smithers) — closed their deal late Friday, a studio spokesman said.
According to entertainment trade paper Daily Variety, the final agreement was presented by the studio as a “take-it-or-leave-it” offer that expired at the end of the business day on Friday. One or two of the actors pressed their cohorts to drop their profit-participation demand and accept the deal, which they did, Variety said.
Production on “The Simpsons” had been stalled since late March, when the actors first refused to show up for script readings until a settlement was reached.
The show currently averages about 11.3 million viewers a week on Sunday nights, down from its peak ratings several years ago, but it remains a critical favorite and worldwide pop culture phenomenon seen in dozens of countries. It also is a cash cow for 20th Century Fox TV for the handsome revenues it generates in syndication.
This season, “The Simpsons” surpassed the real-life Nelson family on “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” as the longest-running weekly comedy series on American TV.