Negotiations with Harry Shearer appear to have hit a wee bit of a snag, as the longtime Simpsons cast member has apparently announced he's leaving the show.
Shearer made the announcement on Twitter late last night, quoting an imaginary press release from James L. Brooks's Lawyer, for some reason. Take a look:
Then he seized the opportunity to plug his new comedy song about cops. Hey, why not?
Fox announced they were picking up a "DOUBLE D'OHse" of The Simpsons earlier this week, but it turns out they may have forgotten to make sure all the contracts were signed before hitting "send" on that press release.
TMZ is reporting that "one of the key players" is holding out for unspecified reasons. Going by the history of previous contract negotiations, the mystery holdout is almost definitely Harry Shearer, trying to get himself a cut of some of those sweet, sweet back-end profits. If true, this would make his grumpy tweets about how almost none of the news coverage mentioned him pretty ironic, I guess.
In the unlikely event the show's producers can't come to an agreement with him, they have a backup plan:
A designer said that Al Jean (longtime executive and consulting producer) is optimistic that new contracts with vocal talent will be finalized, but Matt Groening was reported to have said:
"If necessary, I'LL do the voices."
In an unprecedented move, The Fox Network has renewed the The Simpsons
for 254 additional seasons, ensuring America's Favorite Family will be delighting audiences for centuries to come.
According to a press release, the renewal includes funding for a program codenamed Virtua Script, which developers boast will dramatically cut down on production costs by automating scripts. The program is part of long-term plan for the show to become fully automized by 2041, and achieve sentience soon thereafter.
"I could not be happier about this renewal," tweeted showrunner Al Jean, who said he plans to upload his consciousness to the machines as soon as it is technologically feasible.