"Efforts by the actors on ‘The Simpsons’ to win new contracts granting them a percentage of the profits on the show, one of the most lucrative in television history, have ended after Fox threatened to shut down production, according to a person close to the negotiations.
On Friday night Fox announced that a deal had been reached with the representatives of the actors after weeks of negotiations. ‘We couldn't be happier to have reached a multi-year deal with the enormously talented cast of `The Simpsons,' ‘ a Fox spokesman said. The official, who asked that his name not be published, declined to discuss the details of the agreement, but associates of the actors said that the cast's major effort to gain a percentage of the profits had failed.
Fox officials said on Friday that despite the delay in filming new episodes of ‘The Simpsons’ for the new season, that there would be ‘a full season of episodes next year.’
The actors' demand was the first time in television that voice performers sought to be accorded the same financial terms as actors on hit sitcoms like ‘Friends’ and ‘Frasier.’ The actors said Fox had earned upward of $2.5 billion from the series since its debut in 1989.
The actors also asked for a near tripling of their salaries to $8 million a season. Fox said that the actors' revenue figures were extravagant and that their contract demands did not take into account the high costs of maintaining an animated show that employs numerous animators, writers and producers.
Matt L. Groening, who invented ‘The Simpsons,’ and James L. Brooks, who helped turn the show into a half-hour series and is still an executive producer, have earned at least $150 million, perhaps much more, according to people with knowledge of the show's financial arrangements.
In recent days, people close to the negotiations said, several of the actors had grown concerned about the possibility that the show would be canceled — as Fox was threatening — if the impasse was not resolved.
‘The Simpsons’ itself is remarkably resilient. It remains Fox's No. 1 Sunday series and ranks No. 1 in its time slot for adult viewers 18 to 49 years old, the demographic most coveted by advertisers....’’
"Aside from [Yeardley] Smith [Lisa] and [Hank] Azaria [Moe, Apu, others], the actors in negotiations are Dan Castellaneta (Homer), Julie Kavner (Marge), Nancy Cartwright (Bart) and Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns and others). They were initially paid $3,000 an episode, their representatives say, and now earn about $125,000 an episode. The actors are seeking $360,000 an episode, as well as a percentage of the show's profits." *
The actors who voice Homer and Bart on The Simpsons are delighted with a huge pay rise which see them earning millions of dollars for their work on the hit animation show. Dan Castellaneta and Nancy Cartwright - who voice Homer and Bart respectively - are thrilled with their new contract following their battle with TV bosses at 20th Century Fox Television for a pay rise to $8 million each for the 22-episode 2004-05 season. The series producer explains, 'We couldn't be happier to have reached a multi- year deal with the enormously talented cast of The Simpsons.' The loss of even a few episodes of the animated hit show - a bulwark of Fox TV's schedule - would be financially painful for the network. The actors were earning $125,000 an episode before their contract dispute."
‘‘We apologize to the lovely city and people of Rio de Janeiro. If that doesn’t settle the issue, Homer Simpson offers to take on the President of Brazil on Fox Celebrity Boxing.’’
‘‘Rio tourism board president Jose Eduardo Guinle proceeded with exploring legal action, but eventually got over it. The show’s writers, however, did not. After board spokesman Sergio Cavalcanti told Reuters that Guinle was most offended by ‘the idea of the monkeys, the image that Rio de Janeiro was a jungle’, the writers made a running gag of it. In addition to Homer’s reference to ‘the monkey problem getting worse’ in Rio in ‘The Regina Monologues’, Krusty the Klown also reveals in ‘Mr Spritz Goes to Washington’ that immigration officials are constantly hounding him because his monkey sidekick, Mr. Teeny, is from Brazil, adding, ‘His uncle was the Head Monkey on the Bureau of Tourism.’’’*
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