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The Simpsons to be axed?

According to The Daily Beast Fox and The Simpsons' voice cast are at logger heads regarding pay and contract terms. This has been translated by that site and some other news outlets as the show facing the potential axe - take it from us. That ISN'T going to happen.

As is usually the case when these things happen, Fox want to cut costs and are using every carrot and stick at their disposal. Yes, a potential 45% cut is draconian, but it's a starting point for negotiation that has already started to show signs of success. The six principle actors have countered with an offer of a 30% cut made up for with a share in the show's profits. Notice that word? "Profits" - The Simpsons is a massive income driver for Fox - syndication, international licensing, merchandise and their own first-run income all add up to a huge pot of money that the network wouldn't give up on. A show like this would only be axed for low viewing figures or a lack of profit; neither apply here. Let's face it, what other series does Fox have that comes close to the profit they make from The Simpsons? More shows = more potential profit - anyone can see that and this legal posturing is just an attempt to get the best deal they can.

You could argue that the series is creatively drained and that WOULD be a valid reason for ending the show (some would welcome it on that grounds), but we can't see any reason why any network, even Fox with it's axe-wielding reputation, would cancel something that is so obviously a massive earner over something as flimsy as a contract dispute. Instead, expect to see stories going back and forth over the terms of the contract until we finally get a resolution that both sides will be happy with.

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