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Hey, guess what, Fox’s “The Simpsons” is still on the air! Yup, it’s true. While you, me, and most people who grew up with the show have, you know, grown up and moved on to bigger and better things (and better shows), there are apparently still enough of you young’uns tuning in on Sundays to keep the show running. Bart et al are currently in their 23rd season, and while the episodes have gotten slicker, it hasn’t necessarily, well, gotten funnier.
“The Simpsons” is a major cash cow for Fox, with merchandising and 23 years and hundreds of episodes airing all around the world and in every language imaginable. Which may explain why Fox doesn’t seem to particularly care if they lose the show now, and might even cancel the dysfunctional yellow clan of Springfield if they can’t reach an agreement with the show’s voice cast for a whopping 45% pay cut.
At the present, Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright and Lisa Yeardley Smith are all making $8 million per year. Fox would like them to make only $4 million or thereabouts, ludicrously claiming that without the pay cut, they wouldn’t be able to “afford” to make the show. I think we are supposed to believe this. Yes, Fox, we totally believe that you would be in the poor house if those voice actors don’t take a pay cut. Absolutely.
Let’s be honest here: Fox doesn’t think it needs fresh episodes of “The Simpsons” anymore, and they’re probably right. They’ve got enough episodes to keep on making more money with the property for a long, long time. The network doesn’t really need new episodes every Sunday, not after 23 years in the can. Right now, it’s essentially telling the voice cast to either give in or lose their cushy job.
Of course, I could be wrong. Then again, the last time I saw a “Simpsons” episode, I stumbled across it after being too lazy to change the channel after Sunday afternoon football. It was, uh, okay. I think Bart was trying to sell nuclear secrets to the Chinese for a bike or something…