‘Simpsons’ Cast Settles Salary Dispute

WaPo/AP: ‘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.

FILED UNDER: Popular Culture
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Kate says:

    The Flintstones never sounded quite the same after Betty’s voice changed…

  2. norbizness says:

    I’ll say it in every Simpsons thread there is: this one ran out of steam about five years ago. The fact that it’s still better than 90% of the sitcoms on TV is more a testament to the overarching crapulosity of today’s programming.

  3. Jim says:

    The nice thing about the Simpson’s is that is a mirror of our society. As it changes, the Simpons regain its freshness and relevence. Being a cartoon it can always tweak us in ways traditional actors never could.

  4. Kevin Drum says:

    Jeez, and voicing a cartoon requires only a few hours per episode. That’s one fine job if you can get it….

  5. Jeremiah says:

    That’s something like $15,411 per hour. I’ll take that kind of wage money any day!