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Fox announced this afternoon that it has renewed The Simpsons for two more seasons, ending a salary showdown with the animated sitcom’s voice cast. The agreement will take the series, already the longest-running comedy in television history, through its 25th season, for a total of 559 episodes.
While the network’s press release gave no details, an earlier report from The Live Feed contends the lead actors — they include Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer — agreed to a pay cut from the $400,000 per episode they had been receiving since 2008.
According to the source, the reduction wasn’t as steep as the 45 percent that Fox had demanded. The show’s top producers reportedly had agreed to pay cuts ahead of today’s deadline. However, as The Live Feed notes, unlike the cast, several of the producers have back-end deals giving them a cut of profits from licensing, merchandising and syndication.
Shearer issued a statement earlier today saying that he would agree to a salary cut of more than 70 percent in exchange for a share of profits, but said that Fox had refused to include the cast in back-end deals.