After a highly publicised spat last month, Springfield was in shock when Harry Shearer, who voices characters Ned Flanders, Mr Burns, Principal Skinner and Smithers, publicly slammed The Simpsons for restricting his freedom to look for other work opportunities, this morning confirmed that he has signed the same contact as the rest of the main cast.
Harry Shearer and his castmates (Hank Azaria, Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner and Yeardley Smith) will get paid roughly $300,000 an episode moving forward. The show has been renewed for season 27 & 28 has a built in extension for 29 & 30, which will make The Simpsons the longest running television show in history.
“I wanted what we’ve always had: the freedom to do other work.” Simpsons executive producer Al Jean told EW the following day that he found that tweet confusing, saying, “Everybody on the show does lots of outside projects. He actually gets to record on the phone and do the [table] reads on the phone. So we’ve never kept him from doing that stuff.” In that interview, Jean also said that the producers were “still hoping he might come back. Nothing’s done ‘til it’s done.” And executive producer James L. Brooks took to Twitter to reach out to Shearer: “Hey, we tried. We’re still trying. Harry, let’s talk.” On May 15, Shearer already appeared to be warming to the prospect of reconciliation, telling CNNMoney, “Stay tuned,” when asked about the possibility of a return. Two weeks later, during a Twitter exchange with a Simpsons fan, he replied: “Discussions are happening at a level where decisions can be made.”
The season 27 premiere of The Simpsons will air, appropriately enough, on Sept. 27.