As Homer Simpson would put it, “D’oh!” It looks like The Simpsons—20th Century Fox Television’s multibillion-dollar cash cow, the anchor of the Fox network’s Sunday prime-time schedule, and the longest-running sitcom in the history of broadcasting—might stop production after the current 23rd season ends next spring.
The reason is a negotiating impasse between the studio and the six principal actors who voice the beloved characters on the animated series that hilariously satirizes middle-class Midwestern angst.
Difficult bargaining is nothing new for the show, which was created by James L. Brooks and Matt Groening. Fox studio execs have occasionally threatened to replace uncooperative cast members with sound-alike actors. But for the first time in nearly a quarter century of haggling, the executives have insisted that if the cast doesn’t accept a draconian 45 per cent pay cut, The Simpsons will die an abrupt death as a first-run series.
A Fox Television spokesman had no comment by late Monday night.
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