Fox announced Friday it has renewed hit animated TV series The Simpsons for two more seasons after striking a deal with voice actors. The show is now the longest-running scripted TV series with 25 expected years. The announcement followed heated contract negotiations that threatened to terminate the show.
Fox has renewed 'The Simpsons,' the longest-running comedy in television history, for an incredible 24th and 25th season, Fox said in a statement Friday.
The Hollywood Reporter suggests the actors took a pay cut of around 30 percent and will earn about $300,000 per episode instead of the $400,000 per episode they were receiving since contract negotiations in 2008.
[Twenty-three] seasons in, 'The Simpsons' is as creatively vibrant as ever and beloved by millions around the world, Fox said in a statement earlier this week. We believe this brilliant series can and should continue, but we cannot produce future seasons under its current financial model.
The statement continued, We are hopeful that we can reach an agreement with the voice cast that allows 'The Simpsons' to go on entertaining audiences with original episodes for many years to come.
The voice actors include Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson), Julie Kavner (Marge), Nancy Cartwright (Bart), Yeardley Smith (Lisa), Hank Azaria (Moe, Chief Wiggum, and Apu) and Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Smithers, Ned Flanders, and Kent Brockman).
According to Reuters, the voice actors claim Fox wanted a 45 percent reduction. Instead, they offered a 30 percent cut combined with a share of the billions of dollars generated by the show in worldwide licensing, syndication, and merchandising.
The Simpsons tells the tale of Homer Simpson and his dysfunctional family. Launched in 1989, it helped Fox build and maintain its status as a major TV network.
The 23rd season premiered Sept. 25. Fox has announced The Simpsons will return Oct. 30 with its annual Halloween special, Treehouse of Horror XXII.