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Entries in The Simpsons (8)

Friday
May182012

Lady Gaga 'More Nervous Than I've Ever Been' While Taping Sunday's Simpsons Role

Alo Ceballos/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- It's Lady Gaga to the rescue on this Sunday night's episode of The Simpsons, which is also the season finale.  In the episode, Gaga arrives in Springfield and ends up helping Lisa, who's become a social outcast.

In an attempt to boost her social standing, Lisa anonymously writes positive things about herself on the school blog, but the plan backfires and she becomes even less popular.  Gaga is the one who helps Lisa realize that being yourself is much better than trying to be like everyone else.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Gaga says she was "really excited and surprised" to be invited to lend her voice to The Simpsons, and notes that she had been "sort of itching to do some TV again" -- bonus points for if you remember Gaga's 2009 guest spot on Gossip Girl.  Gaga calls the script for her Simpsons episode "incredible," and adds, "It's so funny.  I come to Springfield on a train...I come to make the people of Springfield happy."  Once there, she says, "I run into Lisa and I decide that it's my mission to pull Lisa out of her slump and give her hope again."

Gaga says that participating in the long-running show was actually a bit intimidating for her.  "They're so wonderfully talented," she tells ET.  "I think I was more nervous than I have ever been because I have so much respect for them I just wanted to do a good job."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr132012

Simpsons Creator: I Never Said Show Is Set in Oregon

Fox/TCFFC(LOS ANGELES) -- Homer Simpson and his family live in Springfield, but they do not live in Oregon.

Earlier this week, the Smithsonian Magazine published an interview in which Simpsons creator Matt Groening says he named Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie’s hometown after Springfield, Oregon. His comments caused confusion among some media outlets, which reported that he said the fictional Springfield is located in his native Oregon.

That is not the case, according to Groening, who has famously kept secret the state where his show is set for over two decades. He tells TV Guide, “I never said Springfield was in Oregon.” He jokingly adds, “I said Springfield was the name of my sled.”

Executive producer Al Jean provides further clarification to TV Guide, saying, “He was inspired by growing up in Portland, but it’s really an every town. It’s really funny. Matt grew up in Oregon and parts of The Simpsons were definitely inspired by his childhood. But there is no specific state that Springfield is in, and we will never reveal that secret…except this coming Sunday at 8.”

Oh, and don’t tune in to The Simpsons on Fox this Sunday expecting to learn where Springfield is really located — Jean was just kidding around.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr102012

‘Simpsons’ Creator Reveals Town that Inspired Springfield

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- After keeping fans in the dark for nearly 25 years, Simpsons creator Matt Groening has finally revealed the inspiration for the town where the show takes place.

In an interview with Smithsonian magazine, Groening said the fictional Springfield that’s home to The Simpsons was named after Springfield, Ore.

“The only reason is that when I was a kid, the TV show Father Knows Best took place in the town of Springfield, and I was thrilled because I imagined that it was the town next to Portland, my hometown,” Groening said. “When I grew up, I realized it was just a fictitious name. I also figured out that Springfield was one of the most common names for a city in the U.S. In anticipation of the success of the show, I thought, ‘This will be cool; everyone will think it’s their Springfield.’ And they do.”

As for why he never said the show’s Springfield was named after the small Oregon town, Groening said, “I don’t want to ruin it for people, you know? Whenever people say it’s Springfield, Ohio, or Springfield, Massachusetts, or Springfield, wherever, I always go, ‘Yup, that’s right.’”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb162012

'The Simpsons' Airs 500th Episode on Sunday

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- The Simpsons reaches a major milestone on Sunday, when it airs its 500th episode.

In the episode, airing at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Fox, the Simpson family is kicked out of Springfield by disgruntled local residents.

Julian Assange, the controversial founder of WikiLeaks, lends his voice to the episode.  Why did the show reach out to him?  Simpsons creator Matt Groening says, "Why not?"

He explains, "We dare each other to do things, you know, and then we go, 'Yeah, sure, we can do that, what the hell.'  And so Julian Assange was a dare that we took."

Sunday's episode also features a new version of The Simpsons theme recorded by Grammy-winning musician Alison Krauss.

The Simpsons is the longest-running comedy in TV history; it premiered in 1989 and is currently in its 23rd season.  It's been on TV for so long, in fact, that Groening says some of its writers grew up watching the show.  He says those writers are such huge Simpsons fans that, "it’s like having your own Comic-Con nerd right there with you at all times."

Fox has already renewed The Simpsons for a 24th and 25th season.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb152012

'Simpsons' Creator Receives Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- The creator of the long-running Fox animated series The Simpsons received the 2,459th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Tuesday.

Matt Groening told the crowd that before his show premiered in 1989, at least one Fox executive was skeptical that it would be a success.  He recalled the executive had an issue with brainy Lisa Simpson and complained, "No network TV show can possibly succeed that has an eight-year-old girl saying the word 'ennui.'"

Hank Azaria, who voices Moe the bartender and Apu, among other Simpsons characters, spoke at the ceremony.

He joked, "Twenty-five years ago when we were first doing this, I was Hank the bartender. And now I'm Moe the bartender, much better off, much easier job, much easier on the back."

The Simpsons will air its 500th episode on Sunday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct072011

Report: 'The Simpsons' Will Continue, Cast Accepts Pay Cut

Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesUPDATE: Fox confirmed in a press release Friday night that it has renewed The Simpsons for what it called "an incredible 24th and 25th season, bringing the series total to an astonishing 559 episodes."

The network went on to say, "In the words of Homer Simpson, 'Woo Hoo! I outlasted Andy Rooney!'"

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(LOS ANGELES) -- Simpsons fans can breathe a sigh of relief -- it appears the show isn't going anywhere.

According to the The Hollywood Reporter, the main cast members of the Fox show are close to signing a new deal which will allow it to continue, but at a reduced salary for its stars.

Fox had initially stated that The Simpsons would have to go off the air unless the cast -- including Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Harry Shearer, Hank Azaria and Yeardley Smith -- accepted 45 percent pay cuts.  According to The Hollywood Reporter, the cast has agreed to a reduction in the $400,000 per episode that they currently earn, but it's not 45 percent.  Fox's demand would have reduced each cast member's per-episode take to $250,000 per episode.

Earlier on Friday, Harry Shearer released a statement saying that he would take a cut of as much as 70 percent in salary if he was given a piece of the show's huge "back end" profits, which include licensing, merchandising and syndication.  But this new deal reportedly does not include any such agreement.  Nancy Cartwright said in a statement on Friday that she wanted to see the show continue, stating, "The Simpsons is a remarkable chronicle of our times.  I've wanted to do this since I was 16!  And I want to keep doing it until I am 86!  Long live the Simpsons!"

The Simpsons is currently TV's longest-running entertainment show.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct072011

Report: 'Simpsons' Producers Accept Pay Cuts

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- With the future of The Simpsons possibly hanging in the balance, its producers are doing what they can to keep the Fox animated series going beyond this season.

In the wake of a report that the show's principal voice cast has been asked to accept pay cuts, its producers have agreed to reduce their salaries, according to TheWrap.com.

Earlier this week, TheDailyBeast.com reported the lead Simpsons actors were asked to accept a pay cut of 45 percent, and that their counteroffer of a 30-percent pay cut in exchange for a slice of merchandise profits was rejected by Fox.  TheWrap.com says the cast members have been asked to make a decision regarding the proposed pay cut by Friday.  Currently, they reportedly earn about $8 million per year.

The Simpsons began its 23rd season last month to extend its record as the longest-running primetime scripted series in American TV history.  Producer 20th Century Fox Television has said it "cannot produce future seasons" under the show's "current financial model."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct052011

'The Simpsons' to End This Season over Contract Disputes?

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- The Simpsons could end its historic run on Fox by the end of the current TV season.

It's not that the network is disappointed by the quality of the show, or its ratings. But in this economic climate, apparently even Homer Simpson has to tighten his wide belt.  Producer 20th Century Fox Television contends that the animated series, which is currently in its 23rd season, has become too costly to produce.

The studio addressed the future of The Simpsons following a report on TheDailyBeast.com that says the principal voice cast is in the midst of a salary dispute. The actors reportedly balked at a proposed 45-percent pay cut, proposing instead a pay cut of approximately 30 percent in exchange for a slice of the profits from sales of Simpsons merchandise. Fox rejected the actors' offer.

Under the terms of their current deal, the actors reportedly earn about $8 million per year.  The principal cast includes Dan Castellaneta, the voice of Homer and other characters; Julie Kavner, the voice of Marge and others; Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart and others; Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa; Harry Shearer, the voice of Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders and others; and Hank Azaria, the voice of Moe, Chief Wiggum and Apu.

20th Century Fox Television said in a statement Tuesday: "23 seasons in, The Simpsons is as creatively vibrant as ever and beloved by millions around the world.  We believe this brilliant series can and should continue, but we cannot produce future seasons under its current financial model.  We are hopeful that we can reach an agreement with the voice cast that allows The Simpsons to go on entertaining audiences with original episodes for many years to come."

The cast has been involved in salary disputes before. Most recently, production on the 20th season was delayed in 2008 while the actors negotiated a new contract.

The Simpsons premiered in 1989 and is the longest-running primetime scripted series in American TV history.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio