The Simpsons is one of those shows that will go down in American television history. Over the past 23 seasons, The Simpsons has become America’s longest running sitcom, America’s longest running animated program, and America’s longest running scripted television show in history, a title that won’t be taken from them anytime soon. The real question is if all of the accolades, awards, and a loyal fan base can save Fox from cancelling the historic show.
20th Century Fox, the studio that produces The Simpsons wants the whole cast to take a 45% percent pay cut to be renewed for a 24th season, which will be a hefty reduction from the $400,000 an episode the 6 main stars Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Harry Shearer, Hank Azaria, and Yeardley Smith currently make. Harry Shearer who voices such characters as Principal Skinner, Ned Flanders, Waylon Smithers is offering to take a 70% pay cut. That would mean he would only be making $120,000 an episode. That’s dedication to keep his show on the air.
Fox is claiming that the show no longer makes enough money to support the casts’ heavy salaries to greenlight the show for its 24th season. The cast is outraged by the claims by the network since The Simpsons is in constant rotation in syndication, has produced over a billion dollar merchandising, a successful motion picture, and even a ride at Universal Studios in Florida.
The Simpsons isn’t a ratings winner for Fox compared to the networks more recent shows like American Idol, The X Factor, and New Girl, but The Simpsons still averages over 7 million viewers a week, pretty good considering the show has aired almost 500 episodes.
But the real question is: Will Fox have the balls to actually cancel The Simpsons if a deal can’t be agreed upon by the cast? I think so. A deal needs to be done by midnight tonight (October 8th), if an agreement isn’t had, the network will have enough time to notify the producers and writers to produce a final farewell episode to air in time for finale week in May.
Fox wont have to worry about losing any animated momentum on Sundays though. Seth MacFarlane controls Sundays on Fox now with Family Guy, American Dad, The Cleveland Show, and his upcoming revival of The Flintstones. Not to mention a new season Bob’s Burgers and the newest Fox animated sitcom, Napoleon Dynamite.
Fox would be fine if they cancelled The Simpsons. The network won’t fall to fourth place, the Sunday night lineup wont tank in the ratings, and the world wont end.
If The Simpsons were to be cancelled by Fox at the end of the season, would it be a big deal?