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Comedies that aren’t funny are an unpleasant proposition, particularly when there’s more than one to be endured in a single evening. In a baseball analogy, Relatively Speaking would rack up two stone-faced strikeouts and a base hit worth a couple chuckles and some thought. One would hope that when three respected writers such as Ethan Coen, Elaine May and Woody Allen combine forces to mount a collection of one-acts, directed by John Turturro, that there should be an expected level of quality, but instead of the words of proven masters we are presented with the misguided scribbling of rank amateurs.
From the writing pool, Elaine May is the only author to emerge with her literary honor intact. May’s one-act, George is Dead is a misfit in this unhappy threesome, providing a comic look at unofficial »
- C. Jefferson Thom
"Mothers come in for some serious savaging in Relatively Speaking, a reasonably savory tasting platter of comedies by Ethan Coen, Elaine May and Woody Allen that opened on Thursday night at the Brooks Atkinson Theater," writes Charles Isherwood in the New York Times, which ran May's interview with Coen and Allen last week. "Old-fashioned boulevard comedy — bright, easygoing fare that doesn't require the deciphering of plummy or crummy British accents — has more or less evaporated from the Broadway marketplace since the heyday of Neil Simon. Relatively Speaking brings back this once-popular genre in manageable bite-size portions, provided by starry showbiz names who sometimes seem to be channeling Mr Simon's gag-driven style. These plays are not going to do anything much in the way of reputation burnishing for their three celebrated authors — and certainly none is required — but they are packed with nifty zingers and have been directed by John Turturro »
The Simpsons is safe until 2013 after TV bosses renewed the show for two more seasons following intense pay discussions and a final deal. It was revealed this week (begs03Oct11) that the long-running series faced being axed next year (12) because it is becoming too expensive to produce. The key castmembers, including Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright and Yeardley Smith, each receive around $400,000 (£259,000)-per-episode, which executives at Fox wanted to reduce by 45 percent. Harry Shearer, who voices characters including Mr. Burns and Ned Flanders, spoke out about the dispute, accusing Fox network bosses of refusing to "share in the show's success" by granting the cast a portion of the cartoon's profits in exchange for taking the pay cut. However, talks appear to have been successful - a spokesperson for Fox confirmed on Friday (07Oct11) that The Simpsons has been renewed for a 24th and 25th season. The terms of the »
The Simpsons will be broadcasting new episodes until at least 2014, which will be the show's 25th season on the air. A deal has been reached between the actors that provide the voices of the characters and Fox, the network that owns the program.
So far it's only been Fox that's issued something official but it's believed that all six principal voice actors on The Simpsons -- Dan Castanella (Homer), Julie Kavner (Marge), Nancy Cartwright (Bart), Yeardley Smith (Lisa), Hank Azaria (Moe, Chief Wiggum, Apu) and Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders) -- have taken a 30% wage cut. In the public back-and-forth that happened this week, Fox had claimed that making The Simpsons was no longer financially viable for them unless its creators and cast took a cut to their paychecks.
The Hollywood Reporter claims through a source of theirs that each of the six principal Simpsons stars earn $440,000 per episode. »
- Patrick Sauriol
The Simpsons, on the verge of a possible cancellation that would have ended the show's record breaking 23-year run, aren't going anywhere for at least a few more years. Fox and the voice actors have kissed and made up after several days of uncertainty regarding the show's future.
The studio announced late Friday that The Simpsons will continue past this 23rd season and into a 24th and 25th, guaranteeing Bart, Homer and the family will get to celebrate their silver anniversary without having aged a day. Fox will air new episodes into at least 2014.
The new deal ends a contract dispute between the show and its principal cast that went public last week. An impasse between the two sides threatened the show's cancellation if a deal could not be reached.
The Simpsons is safe until 2013 after TV bosses renewed the show for two more seasons following intense pay discussions.
It was revealed this week (begs03Oct11) that the longrunning series faced being axed next year because it is becoming too expensive to produce.
The key castmembers, including Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright and Yeardley Smith, each receive around $400,000 (£259,000)-per-episode, which executives at Fox wanted to reduce by 45 per cent.
Harry Shearer, who voices characters including Mr. Burns and Ned Flanders, spoke out about the dispute, accusing Fox network bosses of refusing to "share in the show's success" by granting the cast a portion of the cartoon's profits in exchange for taking the pay cut.
However, talks appear to have been successful - a spokesperson for Fox confirmed on Friday that The Simpsons has been renewed for a 24th and 25th season.
The terms of the new deal with the actors and producers was not revealed. »
After a long and ugly battle of negotiations with the voice cast, The Simpsons will get two additional seasons on Fox to make it the longest running scripted series on network television. The negotiations went as smoothly as Homer’s average call down to Mr. Burns office. Cast members including Dan Castellaneta (Homer), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Principal Skinner and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa), Hank Azaria (Moe, Apu and others), Julie Kavner (Marge and others), and Nancy Cartwright (Bart and others) will return after agreeing to a pay cut of around 30% from the $440,000 down to $300,000 per episode. The actors will get extra pay when their voice is used in licensing, but Fox held firm in its long stance of not including them in the back end profits. While no one is exactly feeling bad for the actors for still making over $5 million for roughly four months of work, it certainly »
- Ernie Estrella
20th Century Fox have announced that The Simpsons has been renewed for a further two seasons, which would be the 24th and 25th series, bringing the total number of shows produced to 559 episodes.
You can read the whole press release Here.
Starting over 23 three years ago as short animated segments on “The Tracey Ullman Show”, The Simpsons went on to become the longest running scripted series on television, and a major part of popular culture. But the future of the show was in the balance this week, as reported by Deadline, as salary negotiations between 20th Century Fox Television and the voice cast had reached a stale mate.
The cast, Dan Castellaneta (Homer, Grampa Simpson, Krusty the Clown, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge and others), Nancy Cartwright (Bart and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa), Hank Azaria (Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum and Apu Nahasapeemapetilon), and Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Principal Skinner, Ned Flanders, »
- Tom White
For those of you waiting with bated breath to see when “The Simpsons” salary dispute would resolve itself so you can have yourself more yellow animated goodness, you can stop waiting now. It’s over. Deadline reports that the show’s primary voice talent, consisting of Harry Shearer, Dan Castellaneta, Hank Azaria, Julie Kavner, Yeardley Smith and Nancy Cartwright, will take something in the neighborhood of a 30% pay cut instead of the 45% that Fox was asking for. At last count, the six actors were making somewhere around $400,000 per episode. Not bad for a job that essentially involves you showing up at a voice studio, recording lines in a funny accent, and then going home. As a result of the compromise, Fox has renewed the show for two extra seasons, bringing the total to 25 if the show doesn’t go any further. That still makes “The Simpsons” easily the longest running show, »
The cast of "The Simpsons" is nearing a deal that would cut their salaries but ensure that the show will stay on the air past this season.
There's no official word on a deal yet, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, cast members Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Hank Azaria, Yeardley Smith and Harry Shearer are close to a deal that reduce their salaries and allow the series -- the longest-running scripted show ever in primetime -- to continue.
"Simpsons" producer 20th Century Fox TV had demanded the actors take a 45 percent cut from their $400,000-plus per episode salaries to about $250,000 per episode (which would still put the cast in the upper echelon of TV pay). The Hr says the actual cuts will be somewhat smaller than the studio initially asked.
The new deals will not, however, include any back-end profit participation for the cast beyond their standard residuals. »
The Simpsons voice actor Harry Shearer has accused Fox network bosses of refusing to "share in the show's success" by granting the cast a portion of the cartoon's profits in exchange for taking a big pay cut.
The longrunning series faces being axed next year because the hit show is becoming too expensive to produce.
The key castmembers, including Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright and Yeardley Smith, each receive around $400,000 (£259,000)-per-episode, which executives at Fox want to reduce by 45 per cent.
Shearer, who voices the character Mr. Burns, insists he has already offered to bow to Fox chiefs' demands, but only if they agree to give the show's stars a share of the profits they rake in annually from merchandising and other related ventures.
However, Shearer claims his proposal was rejected, adding, "(There are) simply no circumstances under which the network would consider allowing me or any of the actors to share in the show’s success."
The Simpsons debuted on U.S. TV in 1989. »
News broke earlier in the week that The Simpsons is facing cancellation heading into its 24th year as the longest running sitcom in television history. 20th Century Fox, who owns the show, claims that they're having to drastically cut costs on the animated program in order to produce new episodes, and because of that, they have asked its voice cast, Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, and Harry Shearer, all of whom have been with the show from the start, to take a 45% salary pay cut.
Today, Harry Shearer spoke out for himself on the matter, revealing that he had not just agreed to a 45% cut in salary, but that he was willing to take more than a 70% cut in exchange for a small percentage of the show's profits. 20th Century Fox will not agree to these terms, and the show is quickly heading for the ax.
It's high noon for "The Simpsons" and it appears the voice cast has blinked. The group of lead actors is close to agreeing to a new deal to keep TV's longest running entertainment show on the air, according to a source. That includes Dan Castellaneta (Homer, Grampa Simpson, Krusty the Clown, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge and others), Nancy Cartwright (Bart and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa), Hank Azaria (Moe, Chief Wiggum and Apu), and Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Principal Skinner, and Ned Flanders, among others). While the cast is ready to agree to a pay cut from the $400,000 per episode they have been making since 2008, the source said that is not as deep as the 45% reduction in salary that Fox has demanded, which would have meant they get about $250,000 an episode. The show's top producers, according to reports, have already agreed to reduce their current compensation, but »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Alex Ben Block and Kim Masters)
Time is apparently running short to extend the life of "The Simpsons."
Negotiations between producer 20th Century Fox TV and the principal cast have reached the point that, according to The Wrap, the studio has issued an ultimatum: Voice actors Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer have to respond to 20th's demands by noon Friday (Oct. 7) if the show is to continue past this season.
The studio wants the actors to cut their salaries by about 45 percent, from about $440,000 per episode apiece to $250,000 per episode. It's already rejected an offer from the cast to take pay cuts of 30 percent in exchange for a small piece of the show's "back-end" profits -- syndication, DVD sales, merchandising and the like.
Meanwhile, Variety reports that several top-level "Simpsons" producers have offered to cut their own salaries in an effort to keep the series going beyond this season. »
The Simpsons has been on television for twenty-three years and, in the first few years of that run, was one of the defining programs of the then-new Fox network. The show has had a remarkable run by any benchmark. But as Fox looks at the possibility of a twenty-fourth season, execs and beancounters have done some math. Their conclusion is that The Simpsons will continue to generate money for a long time with or without new shows, and so paying out high salaries to actors and producers may no longer make sense. The first salvo in the Simpsons budget battle came early this week when the core cast members (Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, and Harry Shearer), each of whom makes about $8m per year, were each asked to take a smaller paycheck . Now unnamed members of the top producing team (Al Jean, John Frink, »
- Russ Fischer
Fox Television warns it cannot continue to produce cartoon unless voice actors take 45% wage cut
The company issued a statement after a report said it had threatened to end the cartoon unless the actors accepted a 45% pay cut.
"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 Simpsons, the longest-running comedy series on Us television, is currently in its 23rd season on Fox. The show generates billions of dollars »
Following speculation the longrunning cartoon series would be axed next year, a spokesperson for the channel has spoken out about their issues negotiating a cut in the cast's huge pay cheques.
In the statement, the rep says, "We believe this brilliant series can and should continue, but we cannot produce future seasons under its current financial model. 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."
According to reports, the cast, including Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright and Yeardley Smith, each receive around $400,000 (£259,000)-per-episode, which bosses at Fox want to reduce by 45 per cent.
There is a long history of disputes between Fox and the show's voice actors over payment, with negotiations delaying production by several months in 1998, 2004 and 2008 after talks stalled. »
The Simpsons has been around long enough to see Scott Norwood kick away the Buffalo Bills' hopes of winning Super Bowl Xxv, and just missed the Berlin Wall collapse. They've starred in their own feature-length film and opened their doors to more guest stars than you can count.
It's hard to imagine life without new episodes The Simpsons satirizing suburban life in the Midwest. Millions of people under the age of 23 have never experienced a year without new adventures of The Simpsons airing Sunday evenings.
Unfortunately for fans of the show, they soon might.
According to The Daily Beast, the six principal actors who lend their voices to the show are currently at an impasse with Twentieth Century Fox over their salaries. The studio wants them to take a substantial pay cut, while the actors want a smaller cut and some cash from the huge syndication profits.
Given the longevity of The Simpsons, »
Hey, guess what, Fox’s “The Simpsons” is still on the air! Yup, it’s true. While you, me, and most people who grew up with the show have, you know, grown up and moved on to bigger and better things (and better shows), there are apparently still enough of you young’uns tuning in on Sundays to keep the show running. Bart et al are currently in their 23rd season, and while the episodes have gotten slicker, it hasn’t necessarily, well, gotten funnier. “The Simpsons” is a major cash cow for Fox, with merchandising and 23 years and hundreds of episodes airing all around the world and in every language imaginable. Which may explain why Fox doesn’t seem to particularly care if they lose the show now, and might even cancel the dysfunctional yellow clan of Springfield if they can’t reach an agreement with the show’s »
TV shows The Simpsons and Dexter are in jeopardy of ending due to contract disputes. Fox wants to cut the salaries of The Simpsons show regulars Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, and Harry Shearer by next spring and Showtime does not want to meet Michael C. Hall‘s asking price for more seasons of Dexter. I find this news very surprising since The Simpsons (and Married with Children) built Fox and now they want to pay the people that voice one of the most popular cable network TV shows less – very strange. I would think bonuses would be in order instead.
The official statement released by Fox on The Simpsons situation:
23 seasons in, The Simpsons is as creatively vibrant as ever and beloved by millions around the world. We believe this brilliant series can and should continue, but we cannot produce future seasons under its current financial model. »
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