The Simpsons will air one more season before ending production after over twenty years on the air, a senior executive close to the show told TheWrap.com. Following a pay dispute with its biggest stars, Fox wants to end the show after one more season - and that's only if it can pay 25 to 30 per cent less for it.
Producers have already agreed to take salary cuts to keep the show running past the current twenty-third season, although the show's six main voice actors have until Friday (7th October 2011) to respond to a studio demand that they have their payments cut too. If no deal can be reached between the actors and 20th Century Fox Television, then the current season will be the show's last. According to individuals familiar with the talks, actors including Dan Castellaneta, Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer, must accept cuts to their current salaries of $440,000 to $250,000 per episode. An insider on the show explained, "The cuts proposed to actors are in line with cuts proposed to others involved in the show. The object here is not for the actors to pay personally for the reduction..The cost is that the cast is a component of the show, all of which is being downsized to do a final season".
Under their current four year contracts, which are due to end this season, the actors earn around $9 million for a minimum of 20 episodes. They are being asked to cut their salaries to around $5 million.