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Simpsons Voices Settle

All of the major voice actors on "The Simpsons"have renewed their contracts with Twentieth Century Fox to continue theirwork on the series. The last of the agreements were reached last week,after several weeks of contract negotiations which had four of theactors-Hank Azaria (Apu, Moe and others), Dan Castellaneta (Homer, Krusty,Barney and others), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders and others) andYeardley Smith (Lisa)- requesting salaries upwards of $100,000 per episodeand producers poised to re-cast new voices for the animated series. NancyCartwright (Bart) and Julie Kavner (Marge and her sisters) had reachedprior agreements with Fox. Production, which had been put on hold duringnegotiations, began immediately with a script reading on Thursday attendedby all of the actors and a recording session on Monday for the 1998Halloween episode. Daily Variety (4/3/98) reported that the cast members'salaries will double to $50,000 per episode next season (season 10), jumpto $60,000 in season 11 and to $70,000 in season 12, and that each actorwill receive a $1 million bonus in the year 2005, though it's sources forthis information were unnamed. Making light of the situation, the mostrecent episode of "The Simpsons" which aired on Sunday, April 5, openedwith an inside joke that may have gotten a laugh from people involved inthe show's production, but probably stumped most viewers. In the openingsequence, Bart wrote as his ever-changing "chalkboard gag" phrase, "I willnot demand what I'm worth." Was this a comment on the contractnegotiations? Fox declined comment. But people involved in the show'spre-production at Film Roman said they knew nothing of this added gag, andthat it was most likely planted by one of the producers at Gracie Films whohas final approval of the show in post-production.

Dan Sarto's picture

Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.

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