The cast of “The Simpsons” is nearing a deal that would cut their salaries but ensure that the show will stay on the air past this season.
There’s no official word on a deal yet, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, cast members Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Hank Azaria, Yeardley Smith and Harry Shearer are close to a deal that reduce their salaries and allow the series — the longest-running scripted show ever in primetime — to continue.
“Simpsons” producer 20th Century Fox TV had demanded the actors take a 45 percent cut from their $400,000-plus per episode salaries to about $250,000 per episode (which would still put the cast in the upper echelon of TV pay). The HR says the actual cuts will be somewhat smaller than the studio initially asked.
The new deals will not, however, include any back-end profit participation for the cast beyond their standard residuals. Shearer said earlier Friday (Oct. 7) that he would take a 70 percent pay cut in exchange for a small percentage of profits from syndication, home video and other merchandising, but his offer was refused.
We’ll keep you posted as to any official announcement.