Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Bye Bye Simpsons


Do you realize that there are people who have been born and have graduated from college and every Sunday night for their entire lives The Simpsons was on television. They have never known Simpson free television. Let me tell you. It was a dark and lonely landscape. There was no such thing as adult animation unless you count the drawings in Playboy. All thanks to Tracey Ullman, Matt Groening and James L Brooks are closing in on billionaire status and Scientology has one of their biggest donors ever in Nancy Cartwright. Now though, the entire thing may come crashing to the ground. The show that brought us King Of The Hill, Family Guy and American Dad may be ending. Apparently FOX wants the actors who voice the characters to take a 45% pay cut in their salaries. In exchange for this, according to The Daily Beast, the actors will receive some back end profits. Uh huh. So far the actors, who currently earn about $8M a season are baling and have offered to take a 30% pay cut. The problem is the actors have no leverage. FOX has more than enough episodes to make billions off this thing for generations. They don't care if the show ends. They don't care if they have to find a new 8pm show for Sundays. The actors know there will be no back end sharing. Accountants will see to that which is why I understand their reluctance, but if I were them I don't think I could walk away from millions of dollars a year for about what amounts to 5 weeks of full-time work that they can do in their pajamas.

30 comments:

parissucksliterally said...

After this many years, if the actors have not negotiated any back end sharing, who's fault is that?

These people have made ridiculous amounts of money (I love them, by the way), and should have invested wisely.

Vicki Cupper said...

I wonder how long it will take Scientology to turn on Nancy Cartwright when she can't make $10,000,000 donations anymore.

Patty said...

Is anyone still watching? I keep forgetting it's still on the air. I stopped watching in the mid 90's.

selenakyle said...

Hubby and I still watch it religiously. We will still watch it in reruns forever and/or if they go to a competing station who might be happy to have the show (ahem...Futurama...which I also still watch religiously...)

Ida Blankenship said...

*GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASP*

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Who else will employ all those gawky, verbose Harvard nerds?! They can't ALL work for SNL.

I've kept up with The Simpsons since The Tracey Ullman Show. I admit it hasn't been as sharp in recent years, but the animation is still amazing, and it's a welcome haven from Seth MacFarlane's cheap, misogynistic, and obnoxious brand of humor.

Miss M said...

I don't know life without the Simpsons. Thanks for traumatizing me on a Tuesday with this, Enty. :(

Susan said...

Eh, Enty. Can't say I feel bad for the Simpsons peeps if they haven't negotiated somethin somethin after all these years. I mean, it's not like they're going hungry.

I'm in the South Park camp, myself, but I respect the Simpons fans out there. The show has had its moments.

Does anyone still watch it?

Cheryl said...

Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer have plenty of other gigs. I can't see them being too worried. I'm hoping that Yardley Smith and Julie Kavner have tucked away some old Herman's Head and Rhoda money.

I'm surprised that this crew hadn't negotiated a back end deal by now.

linnea said...

I watch the Simpsons and Family guy and love them both.

Layna Day said...

The voice actors nearly got fired several years ago for demanding more money. The bigwigs thought they were replaceable, but thought better of it and gave the actors their money. So it's not like they haven't renegotiated a few times prior to this.

RocketQueen said...

I know this is practically blasphemy, but I've NEVER been a Simpsons fan - and I'm in the right age range. I just never found it that funny, and it seemed to be geared more towards kids than adults. Family Guy is way more my speed.

Carrie L. said...

After all the health issues I've had over the years, it's "The Simpson's" and "Arrested Development" that have helped get me through it. I just cannot lose "The Simpson's" right now. Yes, their best years are behind them, but I can't picture life with nothing but reruns. I've already been forced to do that with "Arrested Development." I can't go through that again! Sorry actors, but grow up. All you have to do is pick up a phone from wherever you are at in the world and read some lines. You can do it in your sleep. Will someone please think of the children! (and the adults that have been watching faithfully for over 2 decades?)

__-__=__ said...

All the voice actors should be fine if they've been making $8M a season. Seriously, how many millions do you need? Bart could be living on his own private island by now!

selenakyle said...

Then again, I watch all cartoons, both adult and kid.

LOVED the recent three-part Archer, BTW. We DVRed them all then watched them back-to-back. Awesome!

mngddess said...

NO! My son was RAISED on the Simpsons! Since he was 5 years old!

You can imagine his sense of humor.

Jackie said...

Thing is, most of the main voice actors do more than one voice. Harry Shearer for example does over 15 regular voices. If any voice actors deserve the money, it's these guys. 45% is a lot of money any way that you look at it.

tflamb said...

Yeah not feeling the sympathy. While I think there should be middle ground between that 30% and 45%, I really can't blame Fox for holding the line. The ad and item (shirts, toys, etc) has declined while the show itself continues to keep costing more, mostly because of the million dollar salaries of the voice cast.

They literally phone in their lines nowadays. Most people would kill to practically do that for free. Instead they get paid more for a single hour of work than many people see in 20 years of back breaking work.

For Fox, like said in this post, really they don't need to make any more episodes. Simpsons will be on syndication until we are all old and gray. New episodes are a luxury they really don't need. We the audience do. Fox does not. If anything they can just cancel it and go to Seth saying "we need a fourth show, you in?" and be done with it in a single hour long meeting.

Revali said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mooshki said...

"...it's a welcome haven from Seth MacFarlane's cheap, misogynistic, and obnoxious brand of humor."

Thank you. All of my friends love his shows, and I can't sit through more than 5 minutes of one.

Sis Cesspool said...

Christ, first Andy Rooney and now The Simpsons. What the hell am I going to do on Sunday nights.

Henriette said...

I'm a Simpson devotee! I got WAY back to the Tracy Ulman days. This whole thing happens every five years, and it always gets worked out. It is not as good as it was back in the mid-90s with Sam Simon(who I adore and think was the best), but every now and again it knocks one out of the park. If it goes, I can finally get rid of my television.

lutefisk said...

@Cheryl---I LOVED Herman's Head!!!

Mango said...

Stopped watching a few years ago, but I'm still Team Simpson.

"Spider pig, spider pig. Does whatever a spider pig does."

mngddess said...

Herman's Head was awesome.

Family Guy was hysterical it's first two seasons. Stewie constantly trying to kill his mom was sick and funny as hell. Then, for some unexplainable reason, they switched to constantly calling the daughter any version of fat and ugly they could dream up. It's like Seth MacFarlane had a bad date with a woman and decided to diss all females. That's when it stopped being funny.

Jasmine said...

I personally wish we could make a hybrid cartoon that was a mixture of Simpsons, Family Guy, and South Park.

I could do without the boring, phoning it in episodes that the Simpson's produces, or the sometimes crossing the line angry racist/sexist/grotestic things Family Guy produces, and the random vile aspects South Park puts out.

All shows have something going for them, but for sure there have been times I think the material is too much.

Lelaina Pierce said...

We still watch the Simpsons on and off. I was in middle school when it came out and was obsessed.

Part of me thinks it's bullshit that the actors are getting paid that much and complaining when they have a pay cut but 45% is a lot of money. IDK...

__-__=__ said...

Well, Rupert Murdoch is the head of the business over there:
In 2010, K. Rupert Murdoch received $22,725,275 in total compensation. By comparison, the median worker made $33,840 in 2010. K. Rupert Murdoch made 671 times the median worker's pay.

Maybe old Rupert should take a pay cut himself.

Maja. With a J. said...

"Spider pig, spider pig. Does whatever a spider pig does.".

I have a Spider Pig t-shirt somewhere!

RocketQueen said...

I'm sorry, but I think the constant references to Meg are hilarious and I DON'T think it's misogynistic. She is the least favourite child, is the point, and is constantly forgotten and blamed for everything.

libby said...

I am a Capital-F Feminist and I LOVE Seth MacFarlane. All his characters are eccentric, no matter their gender.