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Simpsons Stars On Strike

Simpsons News — Posted 02 Apr, 2004 by Scott

D’oh! Homer Simpson and the rest of the mustard-colored citizens of Springfield are on strike.

The actors who do the talking for Homer, Bart and the rest of the cartoon stars of the long-running Fox television show ”The Simpsons” are keeping their mouths shut until producers pay them more money, a source familiar with the situation said Thursday.

A source confirmed a report in Hollywood trade paper Daily Variety that each of the six cast members was demanding a a salary of $360,000 per episode, or nearly $8 million for a 22-episode season. Each actor currently is paid $125,000 per episode, the source said.

The last “Simpsons” work dispute arose in 1998, when the actors were making $30,000 per episode. At that time, the show’s producer hired casting directors in five cities to replace most of them before both sides worked out a new deal and resumed production.

“The Simpsons” currently averages about 12.5 million viewers a week on Sunday nights, down from its peak ratings several years ago, but it remains a critical favorite and worldwide pop culture phenomenon seen in dozens of countries. It also is a cash cow for 20th Century Fox TV for the handsome revenues it generates in U.S. syndication. Read it all Here.

The six “Simpsons” cast members banding together to force a settlement of their contract renewal talks are Dan Castellaneta (Homer), Nancy Cartwright (Bart), Yeardley Smith (sister Lisa), Julie Kavner (family matriarch Marge), Hank Azaria (bartender Moe and Apu the convenience store clerk) and Harry Shearer (Homer’s tyrannical boss, Mr. Burns and Bible-toting neighbor Ned Flanders).

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