The future of the US cartoon series The Simpsons is in doubt after 20th Century Fox Television said it could no longer afford to produce the show without its voice actors taking a huge pay cut. US reports say the company wants 45 per cent pay cuts.
“We believe this brilliant series can and should continue, but we cannot produce future seasons under its current financial model,” the statement said. “We are hopeful that we can reach an agreement with the voice cast that allows the Simpsons to go on entertaining audiences with original episodes for many years to come.”
The company’s chief operating officer, Chase Carey, told an investors conference last month that executives had held a number of meetings in the past six months to “look at opportunities from A to Z”.
“Whether it’s channel, digital, ourselves, third parties, it’s a series unique in television, with a volume to it that is unprecedented,” Carey said.
The Simpsons, the longest-running comedy series on US television, is currently in its 23rd season on Fox.