The Simpsons


Is the end near for ‘The Simpsons’ show?

Let’s hope it’s too early to be seriously worrying, but The Simpsons might stop production after the current 23rd season ends next spring.

Why? Money, of course.

The Daily Beast is reporting the studio and the six principal actors who voice the characters have reached a negotiating impasse. While contract disputes are not out of the ordinary, what’s different here, says the Beast, is that for the first time in nearly a quarter century of contract haggling, the executives have insisted that if the cast doesn’t accept a 45 percent pay cut, The Simpsons will cease to exist as a first-run series.

Dan Castellaneta (Homer, Grampa Simpson, Krusty the Clown, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge and others), Nancy Cartwright (Bart and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa), Hank Azaria (Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum and Apu Nahasapeemapetilon), and Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Principal Skinner, Ned Flanders, and others) each earn about $8 million annually for about 22 weeks’ work, but they don’t get any of the ancillary money.

The Daily Beast says the ultimatum was delivered by Fox Monday in response to the actors’ proposal “to take around a 30 percent pay cut in exchange for a tiny percentage of the show’s huge back-end profits—amounting to untold billions—from syndication of the show” and merchandising of Simpsons paraphernalia.

Fox has not commented on the story.