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Should “The Simpsons” be Cancelled?

by on October 4, 2011

I admit it, I was a bit of a fan of The Simpsons from the beginning (I use to have a Bart Simpson t-shirt as well as a
Homer t-shirt), but I thought that after about 7 or 8 seasons it would run it’s
course. More than 20 years later there’s no way to stop it. Or is there?

I have read articles from E!Online to The Hollywood Reporter saying that Fox would cancel the long-running show after it’s 23rd season,
all because of one thing: money. Fox announced that they can not
continue to pay the cast, who each make about $8 million dollars a year,
and insists that the cast should take a 45% pay cut.  But before I
explain why the huge pay cut, let me take you to the beginning.

The Simpsons aired as a series of shorts on The Tracy Ullman Show. 48 shorts were made from 1987-1989.  In 1989, Fox decided to give The Simpsons their
own show by airing a Christmas special in 1989.  The Christmas special
became the pilot for the series a month later.  The show became the
longest-running fictitious show on television beating out the classic
western Gunsmoke, and the 3rd longest-running show on the network behind Cops and the recently cancelled America’s Most Wanted
A movie was made in 2007 and made over $500 million dollars worldwide.
And countless Simpsons merchandise has made millions of dollars ranging
from T-shirts to games to action figures.

Why a huge pay cut?
The truth is that the economy has got more ups and downs than a yo-yo,
and many studios nowadays have been taking budget cuts in order to save
some money. Six of the principal voice actors make about $8 million a
year. I’ve seen people who have done voice acting for more than 10 years, and
there’s no way they could make that kind of money. However, people like
Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Julie Kavner, Dan Castellaneta,  and Harry Shearer can because
people know these characters. Not all people are troublemakers like
Bart or as dumb as Homer, but that formula makes great TV.

If the voice actors decide to take the pay cut,
they could probably get more money in merchandise sales.  However, if
they don’t take the cut then there’s a chance the first family of
Springfield might end the show forever.  In this reporter’s opinion, I
would rather see them go gracefully. Maybe they’ll do another Simpsons
movie hoping it’ll be much better than the first film.

All in all, this is more of a question of dough, not “D’oh!”

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