Looks like "The Simpsons" may be in a dilemma. 20th Century Fox, the studio that produces the animated series, announced that at its current financial model, the show may have to close its doors.
According to AceShowbiz.com, "An insider said the actors, including Dan Castallaneta (Homer), Nancy Cartwright (Bart), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns and Ned Flanders) and Hank Azaria (Moe the bartender, Chief Wiggum and Apu), are willing to take a pay cut of roughly a third, but the studio is seeking to take a 45% cut in salary."
With the show in its 23rd season, "The Simpsons" has seen a 20% drop in ratings from five years ago. This is the longest running scripted series in the history of television. There is a saying that goes, "All good things must come to an end." It's possible that the series is at that point. I love the show, but it hasn't been "must see" television for years.
"The Simpsons" has kept it current format since it began. None of the characters have physically aged despite current events passing. What has aged is its viewership. "The Simpsons" paved the way for other adult-oriented animated series, but like "The Real World," the first reality series, it lost a lot of its appeal and seems dated. I mean, the series is on 20th Century Fox. We've been out of the 20th century for over a decade.
What the series should do is end its deal with Fox and then sign a deal with another network after a couple seasons. When the show comes back on the air, have the characters older and more mature. My life has significantly changed since the series began - my ideas, my beliefs, etc. How can I still relate to an adolescent Bart when I'm no longer an adolescent? I've grown up; now it's time for "The Simpsons" to do the same.
Another big television star hoping to get his way is "Dexter" star, Michael C. Hall, who is reportedly asking for $24 million over the next two seasons. AceShowbiz.com reported that Showtime offered $20 million.
"Talks between the two parties were said to have broken down as they could not bridge the $4 million gap. Still, the pay cable is hopeful about striking a deal either for two seasons or one. Hall himself, who also serves as executive producer for the crime series, recently said that he doesn't 'have any reason to believe that this sixth season will be [the show's] last.'"
I don't know about you, but every time I watch a season of "Dexter" I tell myself, "I can't see how the show can continue after this season." But then, the next season completely outdoes the last. The writing and producing are excellent, and "Dexter" could arguably be the best show on television.
Showtime should give Hall what he wants. The series is better on the air than off. As much as I'd like to think I can live off of $20 million and not $24 million over two seasons, who really knows what is going on in Michael C. Hall's personal life?
Hall recently divorced co-star Jennifer Carpenter, who plays his sister on the series, after rumors that Hall was linked romantically with actress Julia Stiles during their two-year marriage. In the petition for divorce, Carpenter asked for spousal support.
The $4 million is not that much in regard to the success of the series. Jennifer Carpenter should come down a bit on her own salary, citing "the show's welfare" and "taking one for the team." The reality is Michael C. Hall is Dexter and without Dexter there will be no "Dexter."By giving and taking, Showtime actually loses no money in the deal. If Carpenter takes a slight pay cut and Hall gets a slight raise, that same amount of raise could go to Carpenter for spousal support. The net effect is Carpenter getting the same money, Hall getting a raise, "Dexter" staying on the air, and me saying over and over, "I can't see how the show can continue after this season."
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