Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Simpsons Tussle

This has been all over the news for the last thirty-two hours:

... The future of the The Simpsons hangs in the balance as negotiations continue between 20th Century Fox Television, which makes the animated series, and the actors who supply the characters voices. ...

So naturally, me being me, I ran up to Film Roman to get the skinny from the artists on the show ...

Everybody up there is talking about it. (Big surprise.) But everybody has a different take. Herewith a selection of viewpoints and opinions from the artists and directors who visualize The Simpsons:

"Yeah, it's a big topic of discussion around here. When the news came out yesterday it was like a tidal wave went through the place ..."

"... I talked to one of the executives and he said the news reports were a bit more dire and overblown than the actual facts on the ground ..."

"This is just everybody staking out their negotiating positions. The word that I've heard is Fox and the actors want the show to continue ..."

"Matt Groening wants the show to go for twenty-five seasons ..." [That would be two more past the current one.]

"The actors and the studio aren't that far apart, really. The actors have already agreed to take a reduction. Of course they'll do a new contract ..."

"Hey, I've been on this show for fifteen years. There are artists out there who have been on fifteen or twenty shows in that time, and are out there now, searching for work. I know I've been lucky. If The Simpsons ends tomorrow I've had a great run."

I've got no special insights into whether the actors (and/or show writers) come to terms with News Corp. regarding The Simpsons or not. Nothing lasts forever. But as was pointed out to me today by one of the designers: "The artists took a big hit three years ago, when they laid off lots of staff and nobody got much in the way of raises. Now it's time for the other side to step up."

Despite the big syndication money that occurs when the show ends, I also think there's an argument to keeping the big wheels turning: When you end original episodes, the money machine (I think) will slowly, inevitably, wind down.

And though The Simpsons has been on the air longer than any other prime-time, scripted series, it still hasn't logged more episodes than Gunsmoke. So I guess we'll see, won't we?

Add On:: Here's a time-line of earlier Yellow Family disputes.

6 comments:

A Snow White Sanctum said...

It's amazing that it's gone as long as it has. That's quite a testament. But like you said, nothing last forever and the bottom line is still the big moola.

Anonymous said...

if it is the end (which I doubt, but you never know) I have 2 questions:

1) they always said they'd do Simpsons Movie 2 & 3 after the series ended. would such a bitter end of the series mean they're still doing that?

2) how would Film Roman fare without Simpsons? especially when rumor has it that the Marvel shows may be moving out. Hope Dan Vs gets a pickup & new pilots are a go!

Anonymous said...

After the dreadful, hideously ugly, and dramatically unfunny and badly animated opening of the show last week by perennial self destructing has-been john krisfaloochi, I'm surprised the show is still on the air.

MikeInKorea said...

Hey anonymous...
Take your vitriolic remarks somewhere else, loser!

Anonymous said...

Yeah--that opening was really bad all around. They should get some relevant artists to do that sort of thing--or at least some talented ones.

Anonymous said...

I can't think of too many cartoons on the air right now where an artist can mention that he or she has worked on it for fifteen years. That's amazing.

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