Today’s deadline in the standoff between “The Simpsons” voice actors and 20th Century Fox Television executives is drawing near and so is the possibility that season 23 of the iconic show could be its last.
Bart may be riding his skateboard into the sunset with one final yell of “eat my shorts” if the “The Simpsons” voice actors and the network can’t strike a deal. It’s not clear how hard of a deadline negotiators are working under. Two previous deadlines were extended.
The actors have been asked to take a 45 percent pay cut by 20th Century Fox Television.
Chris Anderson, a spokesman for 20th Century Fox Television, would not comment on the current state of negotiations. Earlier this week, he released a statement saying the company could not “produce future seasons under its current financial model.”
The actors, including Dan Castellaneta (Homer), Julie Kavner (Marge), Nancy Cartwright (Bart), Yeardley Smith (Lisa), Hank Azaria (Moe the bartender, Chief Wiggum and Apu) and Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns and Ned Flanders), agreed to a 30 percent pay cut in exchange for a portion of the show’s back end, but network executives rejected that offer.
The show has been a cash cow since it debuted on Fox in 1989 producing billions in revenue.
Variety reported Wednesday that some of the show’s top level producers did agree to pay cuts, but it’s unclear if those cuts alone will save the show.
The cast members earn a reported $8 million each per year for 22 weeks’ worth of work. Their salary would be reduced to around $4 million if they accepted the proposed cuts.
ABC News’ Chris Connelly contributed to this report.