Earlier we reported that 20th Century Fox TV had threatened to to end The Simpsons if the lead actors would not take a 45 percent salary cut. Now it's being reported that the network wants the show for one more season at most, and only if it can pay 25 to 30 percent less for it. Producers have agreed to salary cuts to keep the show going, and the show's six voice actors have until Friday to make their decision.
The actors current sallaries are at $440,000, and would be cut to $250,000 if the show continues past its current season. Last week they offered to take cuts to $300,000 per episode, in exchange for back-end payments, but that offer was rejected by the studio. A study commisioned by the actors estimates that the show has made $1 billion in profits over its 23-season run. The study also projects that it will end up making $2.9 billion from the show.
The current twenty-third season will be the show's last if no deal can be reached. The network is only interested in one additional season even if the actors and studio can come to terms. An inside source claims that the show is no longer profitable for the network, and that Fox wants to pay 25 to 30 percent less for new episodes.
Here is what a Fox exec had to say:
"The cuts proposed to actors are in line with cuts proposed to others involved in the show. The object here is not for the actors to pay personally for the reduction. The cost is that the cast is a component of the show, all of which is being downsized to do a final season."
If the show ends now or even after next season that means it would deny TV's longest-running scripted, primetime show the chance to hit a landmark 25 seasons. The Simpsons was Fox's first hit show, and the first show to crack the top 30. It would be a shame to see the show end so abruptly. What are your thoughts?