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Simpsons Pay Dispute Settled

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the a-little-more-doh dept.

Television 223

ackthpt writes "Simpsons voice actors were receiving $125,000 per episode and considering how wildly profitable the show is for FOX, in syndication and merchandising, the actors felt they should get a bigger piece of the pie. The strike is settled with a 4 year contract for the actors, though FOX is mum about further details, so the show will go on. For a bit more on this see this article on BBC News or The Gate."

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Not a show renewal... but stilll good news. (5, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033342)

Just so everybody's clear on this... a four-year contract with the actors doesn't indicate that the show has been promised four more years. TV actor contracts always are conditional on the show going on. So, what this contract means is that the production studio and the actors have agreed on the pay rate table to be used for the next four years, assuming the show goes on that long. If The Simpsons goes five more years into a 20th season, the actors and studio will need to go back to the table to talk money again.

So, as long as the show keeps going, we can be sure that there's going to be no major cast defections over the next four years.

Re:Not a show renewal... but stilll good news. (3, Informative)

john5211 (767938) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033377)

But more immidiately, this contract means that we should get to see all of the episodes in this season. The actors were allready on strike, and FOX had suggested that the final few shows this season might not get made if the contract dispute was not settled soon.

Re:Not a show renewal... but stilll good news. (5, Informative)

dinivin (444905) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033454)


Not quite... All the episodes for this season had been made. They were saying that they might not be able to make all 22 episodes for next season, so they considered not airing a few episodes this season, to fill in the gap for next season.

Re:Not a show renewal... but stilll good news. (1, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033709)

Yet since a "season" is whatever Fox makes it to be... they could simply have had an 18-month "season" to accomidate some of the episodes finishing late. Really, this was a threat by Fox to lower the episode count for next season and every season thereafter from the present count of 22 in order to cheapen the overall value of the contract. Shows like Friends, ER and NYPD Blue have started a trend of producing only 16-18 episodes a year of hit shows because hit shows tend to get expensive in their latter years because the talent demands more money.

In that context, 24 can be seen as a groundbreaking show because it forces the network to buy complete seasons of 24 episodes, they can't half-renew or partial renew the show.

Re:Not a show renewal... but stilll good news. (4, Interesting)

Rosyna (80334) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033458)

All this shows for this season are long done. Some of the finished ones will not show until next season. There is usually a 8-11 month lead time on the show's production. Audio is usually recorded 8-11 months before the show is completely animated unless they need to loop new dialog in. That is why they covered their mouths on the superbowl episode "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday [snpp.com] " and no so that they could reuse it the next year.

Re:Not a show renewal... but stilll good news. (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033693)

The cover-up was also done because they wanted to include the names of the teams that were playing in the game that day... which is only a 2-week lead time that the animators couldn't possibly deal with any other way.

Simpsons Lifecycle Ending (4, Interesting)

SeinJunkie (751833) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033393)

It seems to me that it's highly improbable that the Simpsons will continue 5 more years. Many of the series fans indicate that the newest seasons' writing tends to be watered down. I'll admit that I liked the writing better around seasons 3-7. I think Fox wants to hold onto the franchise until it is no longer profitable or until they make the movie [snpp.com] .

Re:Simpsons Lifecycle Ending (2, Interesting)

dinivin (444905) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033436)


Actually, most fans that I know (including myself) consider 9-13 to be really weak, but think that the past two seasons have been quite impressive.

Adam

Re:Obligatory Quote (3, Funny)

simcop2387 (703011) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033514)

Troy: Yes, the Simpsons have come a long way since an old drunk made humans out of his rabbit characters to pay off his gambling debts. Who knows what adventures they'll have between now and the time the show becomes unprofitable?

Re:Simpsons Lifecycle Ending (1)

tommyboyprime (694285) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033547)

OK, it MAY BE a little watered down recently, but, it is still on of the few things I still watch on regular TV. IE I watched 2 episodes of "Friends" and gave up.

Re:Simpsons Lifecycle Ending (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033592)

Actually, the last few seasons weren't the best but I've noticed a steady improvement in the last 2 seasons with the current season being pretty good.

Re:Simpsons Lifecycle Ending (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033998)

In the Futurama Universe, the Simpsons was still on Fox in new episodes in the year 3000. The original cast was most likely still able to do the voices from their jars.

Pay Raise (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033343)

More D'oh!

quack (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033344)

yo

the simpsons is cool. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033345)

second post?

in the words of Homer Simpson: (5, Funny)

cibus (670787) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033346)

"Were rich - rich as astronautes!"

In the words of Mr. Burns (2, Funny)

Beardydog (716221) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033412)

We'll all be rich! Rich as Nazis!

Re:in the words of Homer Simpson: (1, Funny)

heliocentric (74613) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033483)

In the words of Homer when he didn't have the crayon in his head:

"We're rich... rich like astronauts!"

Re:in the words of Homer Simpson: (1)

kraker (687285) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033582)

*Woohoo*

Re:in the words of Homer Simpson: (1)

blanks (108019) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033590)

"We'll all be rich! Rich as Nazis!"

Why does this get marked as flamebait? This is the origional damn quote by Mr Burns. Astronautes? Whos ass did you pull that out of?

Re:in the words of Homer Simpson: (1)

cibus (670787) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033671)

I pulled that out of my write-quick-to-get-a-earliy-post-even-though-engli sh-is-not-my-native-tounge ass.
My apologies to those offended by my bad english. Tip: try pulling the crayon out of your arses...

Thank you, Jeebus! (4, Funny)

Chris Tucker (302549) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033347)

Warm, fresh doughnuts to all concernred.

Mmmmmmmmmmm....... Doughnuts!

Radio ad voices (4, Interesting)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033348)

I heard the ad for this week's episode [thesimpsons.com] and thought that the voices - especially lisa's - sounded off. But, they must have already dubbed that episode, right? Or was Fox just trying to show that they were willing to use other actors by starting with a substitution in the commercial?

Re:Radio ad voices (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033370)

Dumbass.

Re:Radio ad voices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033479)

No, that's just you not taking your medicine.

Re:Radio ad voices (3, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033650)

That's likely because whatever radio station you were listening to has some sort of audio processing equipment in the "audio chain" between the studio switchboard and the broadcast tower. Most radio stations adjust things like bass and reverb so that their format of music sounds better than against a flat equalization.

TV stations, even though they have the same equipment available to them, don't do that because talk sounds best with a flat equalization, and that's what they're doing most of the time.

On in the post 9/11/01 days, a lot of music-format radio stations suddenly dumped their regular programming to air network news coverage of the events. A lot of FM music stations got exposed for what they were doing to the music, because there was often an AM talk station that had the same program which could be used as a reference. Several stations toned down their processing so that if they ever have go to flip to news again it would not sound as ugly.

Re:Radio ad voices (3, Informative)

funkyjunkman (721687) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033944)

Let's not forget that almost all modern radio stations use computers to do their ID and commercial breaks these days. These computer based audio workstations will compress or expand content slightly to work around changes in the schedule.
For example, let's say an interview goes a little long during a live show. The computer will, over the course of the program, compress pre-recorded content slightly to make up for the overage. It's exactly the same thing that happens on TV. On a lot of daytime syndicated shows like Oprah it is almost indiscernible during the show, but if you watch the credits roll at the end you will notice a little "jump" every few seconds. That's the compressor pulling out a frame of video to squeeze the show. Shorter show... more commercials!

Anyone for tennis? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033353)

doh [tinyurl.com]

Is that $125k per character voice per espisode? (1)

matthewcharlesgoeden (764440) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033366)

Is that $125k per character voice per espisode? Last time I heard, many "voices" on Simpsons come from the same person. Don't you think those people deserve more cash.

Personally, I think they should get paid by word. But this poses some more unique problems like --> does the voice of Homer get paid for each time says "duh?" And, what if it is an extended "duuuuuuuhhhhhhh?" And what about Maggie's sucking sound?

Re:Is that $125k per character voice per espisode? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033385)

Personally, I think they should get paid by word. But this poses some more unique problems...

Actually, they could just be paid by the hour for their time. :-)

Re:Is that $125k per character voice per espisode? (5, Funny)

kryptKnight (698857) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033386)

Maggies sucking noise was only reorded once, just like road runner's beep beep. ;)

Re:Is that $125k per character voice per espisode? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033872)

..actually it was just "beep".

Re:Is that $125k per character voice per espisode? (2, Informative)

Doogzee (765929) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033417)

Maggies sucking sound was recorded once by Groening himself. It's replayed on a synthesizer.

Not Enough $$ (3, Interesting)

krets (645685) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033369)

So making a couple million a year is not enough money? These people must be crazy. Well atleast now they can continue making more money in a year than I would need for the rest of my life, and they can do so for the next four years.

Good for them.

Re:Not Enough $$ (5, Insightful)

SkunkPussy (85271) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033382)

yeah but if fox is making loads of money off me, regardless of how happy I am with my wage I would prefer that fox didn't gouge me.

Re:Not Enough $$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033786)

What an excellently greedy thing to say.

You are on a contract for a service... you should stick with it. They are talking into a mike. They spend a week (just a conservative number IMO) on an episode, and make $30,000 (I read that elsewhere). That is some bucks.

Excluding if this was renewing a contract (which I think it was except for one). If so, more power to them. Fox would be dumb to let them slide. How many Simpson's fans would BITCH here on /. if they weren't resigned... man, the mind boggles.

Re:Not Enough $$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033413)

But they deserve to make more money than you because their voices sound so much more like The Simpsons' characters than yours does. I personally hope the money for the pay-rise is taken out of the script-writters christmas bonus, it's not as if the success of the show is anything to do with the quality of the writing, it's just the funny voices!
( troll-hunters please note : ....

Re:Not Enough $$ (2, Insightful)

GeekLife.com (84577) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033488)

So the executives at Fox aren't making enough money by keeping all but $125k/episode/actor? They must be crazy.

The money is pouring in already. It's simply a matter of who gets the gains, and I think the voice actors have a pretty strong point to stand on that they are partially responsible for that money flood.

Re:Not Enough $$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033520)

It's simply a matter of who gets the gains, and I think the voice actors have a pretty strong point to stand on that they are partially responsible for that money flood.

There are, literally, thousands of underemployed actors out there who could do as good a job. The Simpsons depends about 60% on its scripts, maybe 40% on its drawing/animation and the remaining 0.1% on the voices. (Numbers do not add up to 100% because of rounding.)

Re:Not Enough $$ (1)

dinivin (444905) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033540)


That's your opinion. Obviously FOX disagrees since they did, in fact, decide to give the actors a raise.

Re:Not Enough $$ (4, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033489)

These people already have enough money to retire and not need to work again while living nicely... so their personal comfort is no longer any incentive to work.

However, they're still accumulating money for the future of their family... and they're also well aware that News Corp.'s money making machine from The Simpsons would start slowing down if all of them were not to come back to the show.

That's their reason to hold out... they want their fair cut of the profits, because even though all of them are rich beyond their wildest dreams, that still doesn't make getting taken advantage of feel any better.

Re:Not Enough $$ (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033605)

"However, they're still accumulating money for the future of their family..."

You are aware of course that one of the main reasons why the USA sought independence from Britain was to get away from the aristocrats. I find it absolutely amazing that Americans think it's okay to accumulate wealth solely so that their descendents can continue to lord it over the proletariat. That's why you have an estate tax and is also why the Republicans are so keen to do away with it.

Re:Not Enough $$ (1)

d2ksla (89385) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033924)

So making a couple million a year is not enough money? These people must be crazy. Well atleast now they can continue making more money in a year than I would need for the rest of my life, and they can do so for the next four years.

I'm sure the same can be said about your salary (>$50k?) by someone making $500 a year [cia.gov] .

Good for you.

The simpsons will go on. Which is more than... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033372)

..you can say about ezine.daemonnews.org which hasn't had a new issue since march!

Looks like it's time to lock the doors and turn out the lights, guys: show's over.

125K per episode is never enough... (3, Interesting)

merikus (722704) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033374)

Not that I have any problem with sucking Fox's coffers dry, but why the hell do these people think that 125 K an episode isn't enough? Hell, if I was the star of one of the most successful TV shows of all time and pulling in more than most people make a year each week, I think I'd just be thankful that my life had worked out so well.

To think that these voice actors would consider destroying a brilliant show which they had benefited so much from because they couldn't live on 125 K a week just makes me sick. The Simpsons could easily be considered a work of art, and I always think the destruction of art for greed is sad. All I know is whatever respect I had for what work they're doing just dropped about 50x.

Re:125K per episode is never enough... (1)

cibus (670787) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033404)

Agreed. But as mr.Burns would put it:
"What good is money if it can't inspire terror in your fellow man?"

Re:125K per episode is never enough... (4, Insightful)

SlamMan (221834) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033408)

Well,first, they don't necessarily get paid each week. They get paid per episode. Difference.

When was the last time you got a raise? Did you feel bad because somebody in a third world country could live on that amount for a year? What you get paid isn't a direct relation between what you need to live on, its of what your work is worth. Their work, since it makes Fox a metric crap load of money, is worth more than yours, which doesn't make a people a crap load of money.

Re:125K per episode is never enough... (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033474)

I have a good idea of what I think I'm worth. About 6 years ago, when I finally started being paid a bit more than I thought I was worth (after years of getting 2/3 or less) I said so. (It didn't result in my raise being reduced.) I didn't give a darn that someone far away got paid little, but I did care that some of my co-workers might not be getting what they deserved. I want justice for myself and those I deal with. I don't particularly care if my company makes small or large heaps of money, as long as it's profitable. I doubt very much that the Simpsons voicers have any such scruples.

Re:125K per episode is never enough... (5, Insightful)

mercan01 (458876) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033410)

For better or for worse, this is basically the same arguement that Baseball players used in the 1994 strike. It's not that they don't they're getting paid enough to live, it's that they see Fox making millions and millions of dollars. When a business is successful, you usually reward employee's with raises.

It's the same thing any /. would do if their amazing new fangled program started making a company a boatload of profit.

However, the money values are so extreme in this case that I agree it's it seems almost pointless to us.

Re:125K per episode is never enough... (3, Insightful)

beckerie (775211) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033420)

Look at how popular The Simpsons is. It has become rooted within a generation of people who have watched it for most of their lives. Fox are obligated to give what the actors want because ultimately, they can't afford to lose the actors. They would be better off financially to give the actors what they want than to stop airing the show.
If it stopped airing, it would mean a dramatic change in way people watch TV, and people don't like change.
It is sad how money seems has become as important as it has. It's no longer about providing people with entertainment. But with the influence that the actors have, they have the power to get what they want.

Re:125K per episode is never enough... (1)

juglugs (652924) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033422)

No, that's not $125K per week - that's per episode. Each episode takes approximately 6 months to make, so that's $250K per year - that's not a whole lot for TV stars...

Re:125K per episode is never enough... (2, Insightful)

cibus (670787) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033439)

So youre saying they don't make episodes simultaneous?
300+ shows have aired... gee - they must have started making the simpsons quite some time ago ;)

Re:125K per episode is never enough... (2, Funny)

silvaran (214334) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033469)

No, that's not $125K per week - that's per episode. Each episode takes approximately 6 months to make, so that's $250K per year - that's not a whole lot for TV stars...

Yeah you're probably right. I remember back in 1847 when they started making episodes of the Simpsons (~313 episodes). Matt Groening is quite a prophet... and $250K per year was a lot of money back then.

Re:125K per episode is never enough... (2, Insightful)

sweet cunny muffin (771671) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033492)

You sir, are an idiot.

If they only made two episodes a year, as you have said (you said they're paid 250k a year, 125k per episode, so two episodes a year), and there have been 329 episodes, that must mean that they have been making episodes for 164 years, or since 1840.

Do you accept you have made a mistake and that you are an idiot?

They produce episodes at the rate of one a week, but the total time for production is six months.

Re:125K per episode is never enough... (0, Troll)

TylerL82 (617087) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033427)

By that logic, Fox should run The Simpsons nearly commercial-free.

Re:125K per episode is never enough... (5, Insightful)

uberdrums (598896) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033431)

As far as I can tell, they aren't complaining that $125K isn't enough money. Their point is that Fox makes so much money off them that they deserve a more fairly cut slice of the pie. Seinfeld made in the millions per episode for his show. Same reasoning...

This goes along with people saying actors aren't worth the $20 Million or so to put them in a film. Well, they may not be $20 Million talented, but if their face brings in $250 Million in profits then I would say it's a good investment.

Re:125K per episode is never enough... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033451)

Compared to what the Seinfeld actors made, $125k is a paltry sum. It is the same with nearly any other top twenty TV show.

Re:125K per episode is never enough... (4, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033462)

huh? easy to say now.

but when you're on that sound room, dubbing something that will get millions for the suit who is playing golf I'd bet that you'd start having different ideas. call it corruption of mind if you will.. you're on that table with your lawyer making a point that SOMEBODY gets that money and if you're really moralistic about it you can always argue to yourself that you'll do more good with the money(ie. spend it instantly - put it back to circulation, donate it or whatever, you can't donate the money from foxs account but from yours you certainly can).

Who the money should go to then? fox for owning the franchise or the guys actually doing the show? the show makes gazillions of money, it goes to somebody and sometimes you have play hardball in negotiations. I'm happier that the money goes to them than to some research assholes fox has guessing what we wish to see. this way maybe they even have enough money to do whatever they please(even artistic things) after they're done with simpsons which is way overdue already.

Re:125K per episode is never enough... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033542)

Who the money should go to then? fox for owning the franchise or the guys actually doing the show?

How about the WRITERS who actually create the ideas that make the show worth watching?

Re:125K per episode is never enough... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033554)

huh, who said that the money is off from the writers pool?

like, the writers get all the money that's left after voices? hell, they don't. obviously.

-

Re:125K per episode is never enough... (5, Informative)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033472)

In the TV world, 125K per episode is NOTHING for such a popular show. Ray Romano gets 16 times that much (around $2,000,000) per episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond".

I know there's a big difference between live actors and voice actors, but if you're going to be complaining about people making too much, don't complain about these guys.

Re:125K per episode is never enough... (4, Insightful)

Mr. Darl McBride (704524) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033600)

In the TV world, 125K per episode is NOTHING for such a popular show. Ray Romano gets 16 times that much (around $2,000,000) per episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond".

I know there's a big difference between live actors and voice actors, but if you're going to be complaining about people making too much, don't complain about these guys.

Okay, but the longer a show remains in syndication, the less each new episode is worth. You come to a point where having 1001 shows in syndication isn't worth much more than 1000, and syndication is where shows like The Simpsons make the bulk of their money.

These guys are substantially increasing the cost of producing a new episode (assuming they didn't also push residuals upward), which means the show is going to get to that cost:returns balance point that much sooner. Two or three years down the line when they lower the new episode count and finally produce the great grand last episode of The Simpsons, and it's all reruns after, will you still be making excuses for these guys? The show could run much longer if everybody weren't holding it hostage to milk it for as much cash as they can. That other folks do it to doesn't make it any less slimy.

Seriously, $125,000 per episode is some REALLY good pay. In their shoes, that kind of mad cash and knowing I was producing something so integral to American culture would be enough.

Re:125K per episode is never enough... (1)

Rainbird98 (186939) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033716)

Big paychecks are common in both the TV and movie business. The new Shrek 2 movie has Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz getting 10 million dollars EACH for the movie.

Re:125K per episode is never enough... (3, Interesting)

rjelks (635588) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033531)

Do voice actors get paid royalties like normal actors do? If a normal actor had a hit show, they would probably have lots of work in the future. I'm not sure these voice actors could make nearly as much with follow-up work. I'm not saying that $125 per ep isn't a lot...but why shouldn't they negotiate like all the other actors do? I think TV salaries on some shows are kind of crazy, but it's not like they have regular work for the rest of their lives. The Simpsons have had a great run, but most of them probably have a ways to go for retirement. I say they should fight for as much as they can. I wish I was a voice actor on the Simpsons.

Re:125K per episode is never enough... (1)

bskin (35954) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033655)

Remember that many successful sitcom stars make well over a million an episode. The fact that they've been working on the show for so long, and it's been so successful, and yet they're making a pittance compared to sitcom actors on similarly successful shows. And why? Because they're doing a cartoon, not a live action sitcom. Maybe there's also an element of wanting to set a precedent. If the simpsons voice actors can't get respected at the same level as other successful tv stars, then what voice actor can?

Re:125K per episode is never enough... (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033884)

and pulling in more than most people make a year each week

...and about one-tenth as much as the principals in other top-level shows who stand in front of the camera.

In this household, we obey the laws of economics.

rj

actors already overpaid (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033376)

It is the writing and ideas that make it good. The actors voices add only familiarity. Furthermore all you linux faggots can go choke on nigger cock.

Worst...contract negotiation...ever! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033390)

-Rupert Murdock

synchronisation makes me used to it (1)

just-a-stone (766843) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033391)

i think this argue was exaggerated. i'm used to synchronised movies & series and heard more than 5 different sean connery voices while edward norton is the same speaker as gauron in lord of the rings. it's not the sound of simpsons that makes me a fan , i'd really be disappointed if they ran out of yellow color ;-)

Tickled Blue (1)

malia8888 (646496) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033395)

I am so happy to hear the strike has been settled. I am calling up Marge Simpson this week to celebrate. With all that cash we are going to have a real spa day.

Think we are going to get our hair done nice n' blue and puffy!!

Re:Tickled Blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033403)

Your stupid fucking comment makes me want to puke on your tits.

Thats it? (5, Insightful)

7aco7om (647266) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033398)

The cast of Friends have been paid an average of 1M USD per episode for the last few seasons until the show finally ended after 10 seasons.

With the Simpsons having been around for 16 seasons, I think it sounds reasonable that the voice actors should be given a raise from 125k. .

Re:Thats it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033468)

Unfortunately what you don't realise is that for each episode these people only spend 30 minutes in the studio each ... seems like a lot of money for so little time.

Then again it's the simpsons ... i want more so give them whatever they want!

Amazing. (5, Interesting)

ljavelin (41345) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033441)

The amazing part of it is that FOX executive management decided to forgo $25 million in their own personal salary to keep the show going:

"The Simpsons is so important to the health of FOX, that it was obvious that we'd have to find the money to keep the network going. We'd either have to export animation overseas, or take a paycut. We felt it was best for our viewers, shareholders, and America to take a paycut".

Wow!

Re:Amazing. (3, Informative)

ljavelin (41345) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033453)

Oh, sorry, I forgot my <sarcasm mode="bullshit"> tags in that last one.

Knowing the doublespeak... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033567)

...they probably regranted themselves the same in stock options or fringe benefits. Like here now, where the politicians have promised to remove the toll ring around the city. Of course, there's something else called road pricing coming, which amounts to exactly the same, only more draconian. Sounds like they're even planning to use the same collection stations, only add some more. But sure, the toll ring is gone, so we keep our promises, we're the good guys, vote for me at next election. Sheesh.

Kjella

Much as I love the sompsons (0)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033446)

And I think the talent should get their fair share of the money Fox makes but reading a script! What a way to make a shed load of money. Wish I could get a job like that.

Sharing the D'oh (5, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033465)

The Simpson's money-making machine is an interesting study in how the content industry has re-alligned.

- 20th Century Fox is the production studio.
- The show's new episodes have been purchased by the Fox Network. (Fox was the first US TV network to share common ownership with a movie/TV production studio. The The ABC-Disney Merger, the CBS-Viacom Merger, and the creation of the United Paramount Network and The Warner Bros. Network all came later.)
- The show's syndicated episodes from prior seasons are distributed by 20th Cenutry Fox. (Networks used to be forbidden to participate in the syndication market. During that time, off-network reruns needed to be packaged by a seperate syndication company, or distributed by the production company. This rule was striken before this rule applied to Fox.)
- In most major markets, the show's syndicated reruns are puchased by the Fox Station Group. (In recent years, the laws have changed to allow there to be more such network-owned stations than before because fo a raising of the station ownership limits for a single company.)
- In many places, the syndicated reruns air during the 7:00 hour. (This would have been blocked by Prime Time Access Rule, but the rule never applied to Fox and was striken rather than modifed to include Fox as a network.)

In short... several of the steps in The Simpsons money-making machine would have been illegal in the 1970s. I'm not saying that The Simpsons wouldn't have existed under those rules, but the show would be a whole lot less profitable, and the profits would land in more hands than just the bottom line at News Corp.

Re:Sharing the D'oh (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033595)

lLOLLOLWFFFF it's funny 'cos Doh sounds liike dough which is old old old slang for money roffle roffle lolololoo oh my sides oh my sides make it stop make it stoooooooop.


Fuck-tard.

Over used "sharing the d'oh'" joke (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033606)

mod WAY THE FUCK DOWN. Then hunt this loser down and kill him in his sleep, too.

All's fair (4, Interesting)

JazFresh (146585) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033477)

...considering how wildly profitable the show is for FOX, in syndication and merchandising, the actors felt they should get a bigger piece of the pie.

So the writers, animators, technicians and other staff will also be getting equivalent raises... right? Or are the actors just extortionists, knowing that they're hard to replace?

Re:All's fair (4, Insightful)

dinivin (444905) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033515)


Here's the thing:

If they're that hard to replace, they obviously crucial to the shows success and deserve the raise. If the writers, animators, technicians, and other staff want a raise, they have every right to hold out for one. And if they're as valuable to the show, I'm sure they'll get that raise.

Re:All's fair (2, Insightful)

zhenlin (722930) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033874)

And here's the worst part:

The average person probably won't notice a change in plot style, minor style changes or anything that would result in those staff being replaced. But they would recognise the change in voices. Likewise for live-action movies/shows: they would probably not realise the change in writing/plot style, nor style, nor special effects, but changing the actor would stick out like a sore thumb.

Then again, Dumbledore in Harry Potter was replaced recently, we'll see how people react to that...

Re:All's fair (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033559)

Or are the actors just extortionists, knowing that they're hard to replace?

And the alternative is to commoditize yourself by making yourself just like everyone else?

Let's work this out... (4, Interesting)

Mr. Darl McBride (704524) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033558)

I believe there are four main voice actors. There are about 20 minutes of show after commercials, and 3/4 of the show is spoken. So 20 * 3/4 / 4 is about 3.5 minutes of dialog per actor.

I'm timing myself at about 7 syllables per second, speaking about as quickly as the Simpsons characters do when on a roll.

So $125,000 / 7 / (3.5*60) comes to about $85 per syllable.

Having them read this post would cost me about 168 syllables * $85 is $14,280.

Re:Let's work this out... (1)

jtnishi (610495) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033670)

Yeah, except you realize that for that $85 figure you come up with, you have to take into account the fact that they're trying to dub in sync, which means they are also sitting in the studio for dead air. Also, they are doing re-takes if something isn't quite right. Now, being veterans at this, presumably, the retakes are getting fewer and fewer as the years go on, but it's still probably not going to be perfect on the first take every time.

Besides, consider the fact that the workload is probably not balanced. I'm pretty sure that, for example, Yeardley Smith, who voices exclusively Lisa, probably doesn't have to speak as much, relatively speaking, as maybe Dan Castellaneta, who not only voices Homer, but also Grandpa, Barney, Krusty, Willie, Mayor Quimby, Hans Moleman, Sideshow Mel, and more (thank you IMDB). Once you consider that, the value of the words might AVERAGE $85/syllable by your math, but I don't know if that's much of an indicator as to how much they would be paid to read other lines in their respective voices.

Re:Let's work this out... (1)

Mr. Darl McBride (704524) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033769)

Yeah, except you realize that for that $85 figure you come up with, you have to take into account the fact that they're trying to dub in sync, which means they are also sitting in the studio for dead air. Also, they are doing re-takes if something isn't quite right. Now, being veterans at this, presumably, the retakes are getting fewer and fewer as the years go on, but it's still probably not going to be perfect on the first take every time.
Let's assume it takes them two hours for every minute of dialog. That's still $125,000 for a day's work! If it's a day per minute? They still get Thursday afternoon and Friday off, and $125,000 for the week!

I'm sure their agents get a cut, and they spend a day reading the script on their own, but even if it's $100,000 for a full week (mind, we're still assuming the insanely high day-per-minute ratio here), that's some damned good pay. Especially considering that all of these actors work on other major shows as well. Hell, Harry Sherer (principal Skinner, the Reverand, etc) has enough time for his own weekly national radio show. I wouldn't mind a $20,000/day job that left me that kind of free time, even if it was only for 14 weeks a year.

What do you mean? (1)

xintegerx (557455) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033832)

What do you mean dub in sync? In every animated cartoon, voices are recorded before the drawing are made.

The most interesting part of this discussion.. (4, Interesting)

wfberg (24378) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033612)

... is that no-one is saying "Yay! More Simpsons episodes!! Gee golly, I'm sure glad about that, why, that show just keeps on pushing the envelope, it's a miracle they've been around this long and STILL haven't jumped the shark! It sure is better than all those cancelled shows like Family Guy or Futurama and stuff like that.."

Nope, none of that here..

I guess the voice actors asked for a raise realising that whatever they get now is going to be their pension.. .. Worst .. Raise .. Ever ..

Yay! More simpsons episodes! (3, Interesting)

bludstone (103539) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033803)

I happen to still like the show, even the new episodes.

Dont get me wrong, they arnt as good as the earlier seasons, but there have been some REALLY funny episodes lately. Most notably the Henry the 8th one, where lisa tries to grow a penis.

"HRnnnn hrnnn HRNnnn!!... I cant :("

Cheapies (0, Redundant)

CPlusPlusOwnsYou (749256) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033719)

Only $125,000 per episode? I mean common, How is someone supposed to put food on the table with that measly sum.

dic4 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033747)

brain. It is the T4eo de Raadt, one Resound as fitting hobby. It was all A fact: FrreBSD Project somewhere

Come on, you dead horse! (1)

Mondain98 (562481) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033778)

Get up! Get up! *kick*

Whether or not you think they deserve their raises (2, Insightful)

TheABomb (180342) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033822)

when the series reaches its end, few of the actors will ever be able to find work again. Well, Harry Shearer can always go back to Spinal Tap or The Folksmen. But Yeardley Smith or Julie Cavner are never going to find another job. They damned well ought to milk as much money from this cash cow as possible.

Re:Whether or not you think they deserve their rai (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033906)

But then again, they should have enough money a hundred times over to never have to work again and still live a fabulous lifestyle.

It's like the old atomic weapon debate. How many times over to you need to be able to destroy the world?

Also, declaring that Smith or Kavner will never find work again is a bit of an asshole comment. They already do voice work outside of the Simpsons.

cu8 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033841)

Guests. Some people see... The number

Somebody has to say this, might as well be me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9033899)

WHOO HOO!!!

decrease their pay (0, Flamebait)

stfubye (775997) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033909)

These people don't need any more money. Their job requires almost no skill, and they are already rich...

Computer Generation (1)

NichG (62224) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033934)

It should be interesting to see what happens once computer generated voices become good enough to use instead of voice actors for stuff like this. It's not necessarily all that far off, since there are some physically based (modelling the physics of the vocal tract) methods which are just currently too computationally expensive to use on a large scale ('articulatory synthesis', for example http://www.praat.org ) which can do stuff like whispering, creaky voices, etc, and also handle how sounds affect neighboring sounds.

Actual figure (4, Interesting)

Matt2k (688738) | more than 10 years ago | (#9033939)

$125,000 an episode

What, 23ish episodes per season

Let's estimate and say Federal tax + state tax + social security + medicaid tax is around 50-55% (Someone feel free to correct me)

Now we're talking $68K per episode, or around a million and a half dollars a year. Another poster mentioned that there are four main voice actors. This is chump change for the studio.

Contrast that to how much Fox makes on a season of the Simpsons and it does seem awfully unfair.
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