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‘Simpsons’ Saved? Deal to Keep Show Going Could Come Today

Deadline for decision from actors passes with no word from either side

A deal to keep "The Simpsons" going into a twenty-fourth or twenty-fifth season could be announced today, according to a person close to the talks between the show's voice actors and the studio that produces it.

A deadline for the actors to decide whether to accept 45 percent pay cuts came and went Friday with no word from either side. 20th Century Fox TV had asked the actors for a decision by noon PT.

The person, who is familiar with the actors' position, said they could come to terms today that would extend the show one or two more seasons beyond its current twenty-third. That could bring the show to a landmark 25 seasons. The show is already the longest-running scripted series in primetime.

The actors have expressed their willingness to take pay cuts, but have asked that they also receive back-end payments for profits from the show, like those received by its producers. On Friday, voice actor Harry Shearer said he would even accept a 70 percent pay cut in return for back-end payments.

The studio has so far refused to budge on including the actors in any profit-sharing.

A studio executive told TheWrap earlier this week that the show's new episodes are no longer profitable for the Fox network and that the network wants no more than one new season, even if it can get the show for less money.

Under their current four-year-contract, which ends with this season, the actors receive $440,000 per episode. The studio asked them to accept cuts to $250,000 per episode for any future seasons.

Last week, the actors agreed to take cuts to $300,000 — if they received back end payments. The studio said no.