Simpsons fans, it’s time to stop saying ‘D’oh!’ and start shouting ‘Woo Hoo!’ Signaling that the negotiating stalemate has ended, Fox announced today that it has renewed the animated comedy featuring Homer Simpson for two more seasons. The deal takes the series — already the longest-running prime time comedy in TV history – through the 2013-2014 season, its 25th, totaling 559 episodes. The statement did not specify whether that 25th season would be the show’s last, but noted: “In the words of Homer Simpson, ‘Woo Hoo! I outlasted Andy Rooney!’”
The negotiations between the show’s principal voice actors and studio, 20th Century Fox TV, hit a major snag on Oct. 4, prompting the studio to issue a statement saying that it could not “produce future seasons under its current financial model.” The studio asked the actors to take a 45-percent pay cut; the actors reportedly countered with a smaller reduction but requested a share of the show’s considerable profits. Harry Shearer, who voices Mr. Burns and Ned Flanders among other characters, released a statement earlier today, noting that he would be willing to take a pay cut of more than 70 percent in exchange for a piece of the back end.
This, of course, wasn’t the first time that renewal talks became heated. In 1998, the studio maintained that it would replace the cast with cheaper voice actors if a new deal couldn’t be reached.
The show’s 500th episode airs Feb. 19.