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'The Simpsons': Contract negotiations once again threaten series' future

The contracts for the voice cast of "The Simpsons" expire at the end of this season, which means that it's time for a round of stories like this one speculating about the future of the longest-running scripted series on TV.There's a difference this time, though: Talks have usually remained behind closed doors in the past, but this time the studio behind the show has already fired a public shot in the negotiation battle.The Daily Beast reports that negotiations between 20th Century Fox TV, which produces the series, and stars Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Hank Azaria, Yeardley Smith, Nancy Cartwright and Harry Shearer have reached an impasse. The actors reportedly volunteered to take a 30 percent cut in salary in exchange for a small piece of the show's giant syndication and merchandising profits, but the studio rejected the offer.Instead, 20th Century Fox has asked that the actors take a bigger pay cut. The studio also issued...

Is 'The Simpsons' On the Verge of Cancellation?

After 23 years, could 'The Simpsons' be signing off for good? According to a new report by The Daily Beast , the actors are in a tense contract negotiation with 20th Century Fox. Contract negotiations aren't new for the long-running cartoon comedy, but the report -- which Fox didn't comment on -- says studio executives are insisting the cast accept a 45 percent pay cut or face cancellation after the current season.

Chalmers Takes Us Back to 'The Breakfast Club' on 'The Simpsons' (VIDEO)

When Bart Simpson pranks a fundraising event, Principal Skinner challenges Superintendent Chalmers to try educating the perennial troublemaker on 'The Simpsons' (Sun., 8PM ET on FOX). In the heat of the moment, Chalmers accepts, but is immediately consumed with self-doubt. That doubt takes us to a flashback of the last time he was a teacher, which was apparently in Shermer High School back in 1985, as we saw him stepping into the library of 'The Breakfast Club.' Except, even though their faces were familiar, they said they were the Fight Club and proceeded to give him a beatdown the likes of which both Brad Pitt and Edward Norton would have been proud of.

THE SIMPSONS “Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts” Season 23 Episode 2

THE SIMPSONS  “Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts” Season 23 Episode 2 airs Sunday October 2 at 8pm on FOX. Episode Synopsis:  Principal Skinner challenges superintendent Gary Chalmers to take over Bart’s education after one of Bart’s pranks leads to a school fundraiser debacle. Chalmers takes an unconventional approach to teaching American history which sparks a fascination in President Teddy Roosevelt. Encouraged by Bart’s educational renaissance, Chalmers takes Bart and his band of “Rough Riders” on an overnight excursion to Springfield Forest, but after a minor accident, the school administration fires Chalmers for taking the boys on an unauthorized field trip. Determined to get Chalmers’ job back, Bart and the boys hold the school hostage until the administration reinstates Chalmers, and they stand up for the teacher who made a meaningful impact in the all-new “Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts” episode of THE SIMPSONS airing Sunday, Oct. 2 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

TV Ratings: NBC's Steelers/Colts game wins; 'Pan Am' debuts strong

Fast National ratings for Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011.Yet again, NBC's Sunday night NFL match-up -- the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Indianapolis Colts -- surpassed the rest of the prime-time line-up to win the Sunday night ratings war. The Steelers' last-minute win in a close game surely helped to goose viewership. FOX -- with the return of their animation domination Sundays -- and ABC -- with the debut of the retro-drama "Pan Am" -- managed respectable numbers. But if football wasn't part of the equation, CBS -- with a strong "60 Minutes," "Amazing Race," "Good Wife" and "CSI: Miami" line-up -- would have won the night.NBC led the night with 14.9 million viewers and a 8.9 rating/14 share in households. CBS followed with 10.9 million (6.9/11). Next up, FOX with 9.5 million (5.5/8). ABC landed last with 8.7 million (5.6/9).Not surprisingly, NBC also led the adults 18-49 demographic, with a 5.9 rating. FOX took second with...

THE SIMPSONS “The Falcon and the D’Ohman” Season 23 Premiere

THE SIMPSONS  “The Falcon and the D’Ohman” Season 23 Episode 1 airs Sunday September 25 at 8pm on FOX. Episode Synopsis:  Homer befriends Wayne (guest voice Kiefer Sutherland), a reserved security guard recently hired by the nuclear power plant. Plagued by violent flashbacks from his past as a CIA agent, he must overcome his tortured nightmares to save Homer from a Ukranian terrorist. Meanwhile, Marge fantasizes about being a contestant on “Top Chef” hosted by Tom Colicchio (guest voicing as himself), and the future of Springfield’s hottest “it” couple Nedna, Edna Krabappel (guest voice Marcia Wallace) and Ned Flanders, will be revealed after months of online fan voting and speculation. Read More...

'The Simpsons': Kiefer Sutherland, 'Top Chef's' Tom Colicchio get animated

Kiefer Sutherland is entering into Albert Brooks territory with his appearance on the season premiere of "The Simpsons."In the premiere, "The Falcon and the D'Ohman," Sutherland plays Hank, a security guard at the nuclear plant whom Homer befriends and takes to Moe's for a drink. It's the third time he's done voice work for the show, and the third different character he's played -- in his prior appearances he did the voices for an army colonel (2006's "GI (Annoyed Grunt)") and his "24" character, Jack Bauer (2007's "24 Minutes"). That makes him one of the relatively few "Simpsons" guest stars who've appeared more than once and voiced different characters rather than recurring residents of Springfield. Brooks and Jon Lovitz are in the same category, though they've also had recurring parts. So did former semi-regular Phil Hartman, who's most associated with Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz but also played a number of other one-off characters.Also in...

The Simpsons Season Premiere Preview: Kidnapped!

Before The Simpsons goes Gaga , it will go Kiefer this month. On the September 23 premiere, Homer will get kidnapped and the only man who will be able to save him is voiced by the former 24 star.... who sounds a great deal like Lauren Bacall. Check out the first official trailer for this return episode now. Read More...

THE SIMPSONS Season 23 Preview, Plus An Animation Domination Promo

Homer Simpson is getting kidnapped! Sure, it’s not the first time THE SIMPSONS patriarch has found himself held against his will (after this many seasons, what hasn’t happened to the family?!), but this time he has a familiar face to help him out — Kiefer Sutherland. (Who, um, also has lent his voice to the [...]

'Mad Men' Star John Slattery Coming to 'The Simpsons'

Not everyone in Hollywood really knows each other, but it's pretty darn close. Take, for example, my day on the set of NBC's new sitcom 'Free Agents.' Knowing that they're shooting at the same studios where 'Mad Men' shoots was one thing, but the 'Mad Men' ties don't stop there. I caught up with star Hank Azaria who plays Alex on 'Free Agents' (previews Wed., Sept. 14, 10:30PM ET), a PR exec whose unlucky-in-love personal life starts to bleed into his work life. We talked a lot about the show -- more to come closer to premiere -- but he also had a few tidbits to share about some of the 'Mad Men' cast. Read More...