Monday, May 21, 2012

Up the Road at Film Roman

This a.m. I visited the Simpson unit at Starz-Film Roman, where staffers are a wee bit somber ...

"We've had the schedules for shows cut from eight weeks to seven. They're telling us, 'We're not cutting salaries,' but people know they are. When the weeks are cut by one, hiatuses are longer, and yeah, they're cutting our salaries."

It seems that Fox is cutting the show's budget, and is struggling to make everything work.

"Management said that Fox is cutting the budgets 30%, so they have to cut staff and try to get more erricient. I think that Fox is moving toward a board-driven show, and the layout department won't be there anymore. ..."

One of the staff pointed out this:

With just one week remaining in Season 23, last night’s episode ‘Ned ‘N Edna’s Blend’ attracted just 4.00 million viewers – the lowest recorded viewers for a new episode on record.

The new record bumps season 22′s ‘The Great Simpsina’ out of the 5 least-watched episodes of all time, which means this list is now entirely comprised of episodes from this season.

1. “Ned ‘N Edna’s Blend” (season 23) – 4.00 million
2. “The Daughter Also Rises” (season 23) – 4.33 million
3. “The Spy Who Learned Me” (season 23) – 4.74 million
4. “Beware My Cheating Bart” (season 23) – 4.86 million
5. “How I Wet Your Mother” (season 23) – 4.96 million

This led an artist to comment that the two upcoming seasons will likely be the show's last on Fox. "Gracie hates Fox. If the show keeps going, it could move to, say, Comedy Central. They'd cut the budgets even more, but hey. The show could keep going."

Another crew member thought the next two seasons would wrap up the long run, Fox would then syndicate the hundreds of episodes for three-quarters of a billion dollars, handing Gracie and a few profit participants another gold mine while many artists get the shaft the opportunity to seek employment elsehwere.

"But sometime, Gracie will start producing another feature. And some of the crew will return to get on that train ride."

Me, I don't know what will happen, since my crystal ball is fogged up. But I'm happy to report this:

The Simpsons finale was up two-tenths to a 2.1 from last week's 1.9 adults 18-49 rating. ...

Which means it picked up an additional 600,000 eyeballs, give or take. I'll be the optimist here: I believe with both fibres of my being that the Yellow Family will be with us for years to come!

With all-new, lower-budget, cable-driven episodes!


Chris Sobieniak said...


David said...

I haven't watched The Simpsons in years , but I would think after all these years on the air they must have a HUGE stock library of every conceivable type of movement for these characters. If the budgets and the schedule get cut I wonder if they could make it up by repurposing some of the old animation to work in "new" shows. Who among the average viewer would really notice the difference ?

Steve Hulett said...

Well, the show changed screen format when it went the HD route a few years ago. That certainly makes a difference.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Nothing like back in Season Three where there was the occasional shot or two from Season Two that often popped up.

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