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The End Is Nigh For The Simpsons, Regardless Of How Talks Unfold

It’s been a long 22-year run for Matt Groening’s The Simpsons TV series, but the end seems to be growing very close. Days after word came from Fox that the show would be canceled if the producers and voice actors didn’t accept a sizable pay cut, we’re hearing that the network is only game to keep things going for another season or two even if the cost-cutting measures are approved.

The Wrap reports that the producers have already accepted the pay cut, and that the actors have until Friday to do the same. The word from an insider is that the actors are being offered a guarantee for two more seasons at their new salary, with the option for a third. Fox is reserving the right to cancel the show after the next season (the 24th for those not keeping score at home), but the contracts will be paid out regardless.

Fox is almost certainly weighing the overall cost of maintaining the show against the appeal of having one of its series run into (and probably conclude in) its 25th season. There’s plenty of appeal to just pulling the plug now, however. A market analyst cited by The Hollywood Reporter suggests that the network stands to make upward of $750 million from post-series finale syndication deals. That’s an attractive proposition at anytime, but it is especially true for Fox right now, what with the recent scandal and falling stock prices.

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Comments

  • Mars

    Awful. The Simpsons is the only national treasure left on US TV. It would be like the BBC cancelling Doctor Who again. Shameful.

  • Alex Witenberg

    Funny.  I’ve wanted to see The Simpsons go off the air for some time now.  It has been a shell of itself for years and was ready to end while there was some tiny shred of dignity left in Springfield.

    But seeing it spelled out that the end is really coming?  I find myself saddened by that.  Like hearing bad news about an old friend who you lost touch with. 

    I suspect that I would have to watch a big finale, even knowing it could – and probably will – be as disappointing as almost every other big finale.  How can you not be there for the end?

  • Lewis4510

    I don’t see them getting a deal in the next twenty four hours they’re too far a part.  Ultimately the snydication deal will win out, without any overhead it’s all profit for Fox.

  • Yanks5179

    It’s amazing that in this economy, people who are filthy rich millionaires already from what they’ve done are haggling for an extra bit…

  • http://twitter.com/geminibros Adam Rosenberg

    I think you’re jumping to conclusions. No one’s haggling here, at least as far as any of us in the public/media know. That doesn’t mean they’re NOT haggling, but until one of the actors — or even the producers, seeing as the info that they’ve accepted the offer comes from an anonymous source — comes out and gives the score, all of this is just hearsay and speculation.

    The only OFFICIAL confirmed-as-fact news at this point is the Fox statement from the other day.

  • http://all-loserssquad.blogspot.com The Ronin

    Certainly the quality has been low, but the last season wasn’t bad and I found my self laughing my ass off at the last two episodes. So it would be a shame for it to be canceled when its good.

  • Joeamyotte

    Just goes to show what corporate greed can do, even to a beloved and long running product of it’s own doing. Corporate cannibalism at it’s best. As for taking a pay cut…in a perfect society an honest citizen could make a decent (read: reasonable) wage going into the studio and making funny voices for a few hours, rather than expecting to live in a damn mansion just for speaking…feh.

  • Mars

    If it does end the final line should go to Maggie with the family being in shock at her ‘first’ words

  • http://twitter.com/Simpsonology Denise and Karma

    Unfair. 
    It’s not about a “wage.” These actors (and animators, writers, music composer and editor, and others) are the soul of the show. They don’t just do “funny voices for a few hours.” Having been there for a recording, I can tell you that they are a creative ensemble and don’t just “speak.” If that were true, Fox would have fired them all years ago and hired some of the many college kids who can do spot-on impersonations. (After a couple beers, I do a decent Martin Prince, truth be told).
    Fox has made a billion in profits so far off the show (yes, a BILLION dollars with a B). Not bad for owning the building. Why not give the people who actually make the show what it is part of the back end? This is no different than a music label not sharing the profits of best-selling albums with the musicians, producers, and writers of the music. Would we say that Jon Bon Jovi is greedy because he gets a percentage of CD, download, DVD, t-shirt, and other sales? Of course not, because he *made* the music. This is greed (not to mention scapegoating the issue onto the actors) on Fox’s part and it’s appalling. 

  • RunnerX13

    “I’ve wanted to see The Simpsons go off the air for some time now”.  Why?  If you don’t like, don’t watch it.