‘Simpsons’ Cast Settles Salary Dispute
A month after stalled contract renewal talks led the voices of “The Simpsons” to stop work, both the actors and Fox are getting more “D’oh!” Terms of the deal were not announced for the actors who provide the voices for Homer and Marge Simpson and other characters on the long-running animated series.
“We couldn’t be happier to have reached a multiyear deal with the enormously talented cast of ‘The Simpsons,'” series producer 20th Century Fox Television said Friday in a statement.
A spokesman representing the cast said they had no immediate comment.
Despite speculation the dispute would shorten the 2004-05 season, the studio said it was optimistic that all 22 planned episodes could be finished.
The loss of even a few episodes of “The Simpsons,” a bulwark of Fox TV’s schedule, would be financially painful for the network.
Each cast member was seeking about $360,000 an episode, or $8 million for the 22-episode, 2004-05 season, the trade paper Daily Variety reported previously. The actors were earning $125,000 an episode.
While one would imagine that finding replacement voice actors for a cartoon show wouldn’t be all that difficult, apparently Fox thought otherwise. The fact that they’ve signed a multi-year deal is interesting as well, presumably signaling that there are no plans to end the show any time soon. Even the best shows run out of steam after a while. Apparently, operating in an animated universe where characters never evolve and the kids don’t grow up and cease being cute has its advantages.