Posts Tagged ‘Last Exit to Springfield


The End of Zombie Simpsons: Still Unlikely

Last Exit to Springfield5

“Well, let’s look at the contract ourselves, eh?  Benefits!  Perks!  A green cookie on St. Patrick’s Day!” – C.M. Burns

There are a few pieces of new information about the current money wrangling going on between FOX and the six principle voice actors.  I’ve linked three articles below along with a summary of what actual news each contains.  As of noon today, this what’s known to the internet:

‘The Simpsons’ producers accepted pay cuts | Variety (via):

  • An unspecified number of executive producers have agreed to take an unspecified pay cut, but as yet no contracts have been signed. 
  • FOX has set a deadline of Friday for an agreement with the actors.
  • That deadline is supposedly linked to the production cycle.  As of right now they still have enough time to produce a series finale that would air next year under the current deal.   

Another ‘Simpsons’ Season Would Likely Be Last, Executive Says (Exclusive) | TheWrap TV:

  • An unnamed executive said that even with a new deal, FOX only wants the show for one more year. 
  • A FOX press release contradicted that, saying they wanted the show “for many years to come”.
  • A financial analysis commissioned by the actors reports that the show has earned $3.95 billion ($3,950,000,000) so far against a total production cost of $3.07 billion ($3,070,000,000). 
  • The same analysis also concluded that the show as it stands will earn roughly another $2 billion ($2,000,000,000) once production ceases.

Analyst: Fox Could Get Around $750 Million in New Syndication Revenue After ‘Simpsons’ Cancellation – The Hollywood Reporter (via):

  • David Bank, an analyst for RBC Capital Markets, believes that FOX could earn $750 million ($750,000,000) from new syndication deals alone once the show ends.
  • The original syndication deals were struck when cable was much smaller and on-line didn’t exist and FOX is presently unable to sell rerun rights for those outlets.
  • Each episode is probably worth between $1 million and $2 million dollars ($1,000,000-$2,000,000) from those sources.

To my mind that third article is far more important than the others.  The first two are the usual press leaks that occur during negotiations.  Numbers of dubious provenance get bandied about and the quotes used are often deliberately inflammatory or misleading because all of the sources are party to the negotiation.  It’s basically just a public way of saying this:

Management: We’re losing money, you guys need to take a pay cut.
Labor:  Bullshit.
[angry crosstalk]

None of it changes the fact that every previous time this has happened everyone involved eventually realized that doing some kind of deal makes them all more money.  Sometime after that the contracts get signed.  So while I’d love to hear what FOX’s internal discussions are regarding the future of Zombie Simpsons, the odds of getting that through the entertainment press are very long indeed. 

The third article, however, puts a number on the pretty heavy cash payout for FOX once the show stops production.  Syndication is an obtuse process and is governed by rules and conventions that only deeply involved players really understand, but the basic premise is very simple.  Once a show has enough episodes to be worth syndicating (usually four seasons), a temporary syndication deal is struck for rerunning the show while it is still in production.  Once a show stops production, i.e. once everyone involved knows for sure how many episodes there are going to be, a new deal is done to cover the whole show. 

Since Zombie Simpsons has gone on for so long, not only is the catalog of episodes for sale enormous, but the original and temporary syndication deal is now hopelessly out of date.  The economics of television have changed a lot since the early 1990s, and the duration of a purposely temporary agreement from that time has created a lot of potential revenue.  Right now that money only exists on spreadsheets, but it would become very real once the 1990s deal finally expires.  That’s where you get the $750 million number, which would not come all at once, but which would be in cash and very nice for FOX for several years.  That means that FOX can cancel the show without hurting its bottom line for years to come, an important consideration in a business that freaks out over quarterly reports.  Of course, the flip side of that coin is that the longer the show goes on the bigger that potential revenue becomes. 

So, what does all this mean?  I’m afraid the answer is still “not much”.  We don’t know what the real numbers are.  We don’t know how personally interested the actors and key producers are in keeping it going.  We don’t know how confident FOX is that they can plug the hole in their Sunday lineup.  Having an unnamed FOX executive tell The Wrap that they’d only want one more season anyway is meant to generate attention, but it probably isn’t anything more than bluster. 

If production of the show actually shuts down then we can start getting our hopes up.  Ditto if there’s a credible report that the word has come down to make the last episode a series finale.  But until either of those things happens this is far more smoke than fire. 


Quote of the Day

Last Exit to Springfield4

“Smithers, where’s that union representative?  He’s twenty minutes late.” – C.M. Burns
“I don’t know, sir, he hasn’t been seen since he promised to clean up the union.” – Mr. Smithers
“What the hell?” – Football Player


Quote of the Day

Last Exit to Springfield3

“Ah, Homer, I hope Crusher and Low Blow didn’t hurt you.” – C.M. Burns
“You know, you could’ve just called me.” – Homer Simpson
“Oh yes, but the telephone is so impersonal.  I prefer the hands on touch you only get with hired goons.” – C.M. Burns


Quote of the Day

Last Exit to Springfield2

“You can’t treat the working man this way!  One day we’ll form a union, and get the fair and equitable treatment we deserve.  Then we’ll go too far, and get corrupt and shiftless, and the Japanese will eat us alive!” – Squeaky Voiced Working Man
“The Japanese?  Those sandal wearing goldfish tenders?  Ta ha!  Bosh!  Flimshaw!” – Grampa Burns

[Edited because the commenters are better at this than I am.]


Folding Like Umbrellas

Via Cromulent Words comes this most excellent rendition of Lisa’s strike song from “Last Exit to Springfield”:

In turn, this led me to YouTube’s related videos.  Sure enough, there are more:

Here’s one with a little Spanish flavor:

This guy’s singing voice is remarkably accent free given that he appears to be a native German speaker:

Germans love Lisa’s protest song:

Piano?  Piano:

A man with aviator sunglasses has no time to waste.  Here’s the up-tempo short version (only 29 seconds):

A shirt is not required when you have this kind of enthusiasm:

By the “folding tower”?  Why not:

And finally, this is just awesome:

I love how the kid who’s playing Lenny snaps his fingers.  Bravo all around.


Quote of the Day

The Big Book of British Smiles

“Let’s look at a picture book: The Big Book of British Smiles.” – Dr. Wolf
“That’s enough!  That’s enough!” – Ralph Wiggum


Quote of the Day

“Sorry Mr. Burns, but I don’t go in for these backdoor shenanigans. Sure I’m flattered, maybe even a little curious, but the answer is no!” – Homer Simpson


The best kind of hatred

Rainbow hatred

Ah, “Sight Gags” posts.  It’s been a while, no?  Let’s kick it off again – doesn’t that rainbow “HATRED” make you want to hug, then punch, someone?


Quote of the Day


“Cool, she’ll be a freak!” – Bart Simpson

“Bart!” – Marge Simpson

“We can stick her in a trailer, drive around the south, and charge two bits a gander.” – Bart Simpson


Quote of the Day

“Smithers, I’m beginning to think that Homer Simpson was not the brilliant tactician I thought he was.” – C.M. Burns


Quote of the Day

“If only we’d listened to that boy . . . instead of walling him up in the abandoned coke oven.” – C.M. Burns


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