1989 was significant for many reasons. As well as the fall of the wall it also marked the birth of the Simpsons. Now it seems that the show might be at an end from comments let slip by Harry Shearer who provides the voice for Mr Burns, the obsequious sidekick Smithers, the god squadder next-door Ned Flanders and Principal Skinner. The Daily Mirror has the story here along with Shearer in action. A longer thing from the Huffington Post here also goes into contract disputes across the pond. In short it’s all about money – when isn’t it? Fox News are apparently making all the cash and expecting the voice-actors to take dramatically slashed pay.

I’d hate for this blog to turn into a site simply for obituaries for discontinued tv shows (eg the Desperate Housewives post below), but can’t these guys get over to ACAS or round the negotiating table whatever it may be called over there? I reckon it would be nothing short of tragic if  last orders were called for the last time at Moe’s bar. The special commemorative 1989 edition of Time out in 2009 reckoned that the Simpsons “was a show about everything. Through insufferably wholesome next-door neighbor Ned Flanders, the show became about religion. Through fatuous local news anchor Kent Brockman, it became about the media. Through Springfield’s venal Mayor Quimby, it became about politics”.

The same thing/ depth/ range would not work with substitute voices.