Up in the Simpsons unit, one of the artists, a person who's been with the show a few years and knows which heads are rolling and who's are likely to be lopped off next, confided:
None of us know if Fox is going to order another season of The Simpsons after we're done with this one. The actors are signed, but Fox hasn't said if it wants another twenty episodes. I think Gracie Films [the producing company of The Simpsons] would like another order, and so is offering up sacrifices to Fox to show that they're serious about cutting costs. Some old hands have been let go.