Simpsons fans can breathe a sign of relief — it appears the show isn’t going anywhere. According to the The Hollywood Reporter, the main cast members of the Fox show are close to signing a new deal which will allow it to continue, but at a reduced salary for its stars.
Fox had initially stated that The Simpsons would have to go off the air unless the cast — including Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Harry Shearer, Hank Azaria and Yeardley Smith — accepted 45 percent pay cuts. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the cast has agreed to a reduction in the $400,000 per episode that they currently earn, but it’s not 45 percent. Fox’s demand would have reduced each cast member’s per-episode take to 250 grand per episode.
Earlier on Friday, Harry Shearer released a statement saying that he would take a cut of as much as 70 percent in salary if he were given a piece of the show’s huge “back end” profits, which include licensing, merchandising and syndication. But this new deal reportedly does not include any such agreement. Nancy Cartwright said in a statement on Friday that she wanted to see the show continue, stating, “The Simpsons is a remarkable chronicle of our times. I’ve wanted to do this since I was 16! And I want to keep doing it until I am 86! Long live the Simpsons!”
The Simpsons is currently TV’s longest-running entertainment show.