Two months after fans and crew of The Simpsons began imagining an animated world of Springfield without the voices of Harry Shearer, it’s all going to be just fine.
Shearer, who has voiced Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Kent Brockman, Lenny Leonard, Dr. Hibbert and more since 1989 — and won his first Emmy Award for doing so last year — reached a new contract with the show and FOX.
As subtly indicated by today’s press release:
Following the announcement of The Simpsons’ renewal for an unprecedented 27th and 28th seasons, FOX is proud to confirm that each and every member of the iconic series’ voice cast will be returning in the roles they’ve brought to life since the show’s beginnings as a series of animated shorts nearly 30 years ago.
The critically acclaimed The Simpsons voice cast has been recognized with countless awards over the series’ 26 seasons, including 11 Emmys. In fact, every main cast member – Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer – has won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance at some point in the show’s run, which, with the recent two-season pick-up, will extend to an astounding 625 episodes…and counting.
The longest-running scripted show in television history, The Simpsons exploded into a cultural phenomenon in 1990 and has remained one of the most groundbreaking and innovative entertainment franchises, recognizable throughout the world. Currently in production on its record-annihilating 27th season, The Simpsons has won 31 Emmy Awards, 31 Annie Awards, a 2015 People’s Choice Award, was the first animated series to win a Peabody Award and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2012 for the theatrical short “The Longest Daycare.” “The Simpsons Movie” was an international hit feature film, the mega-attraction The Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios has received historic expansion updates with the addition of “Springfield” and the show was honored with a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2000. It has been named the “Best Show of the 20th Century” by Time magazine, and called the “Greatest American Sitcom” by Entertainment Weekly in 2013.
This past season, The Simpsons averaged a 2.6/8 among Adults 18-49 – steady year-over-year in the core demo. Across all viewing platforms, The Simpsons delivers an average total audience of 7.6 million, +59% higher than its Live + Same Day total audience (7.6 vs. 4.8 Mil). In fact, even in its 26th season, the series ranks as one of the Top 15 shows overall on broadcast television among Male Teens, Men 18-34, and Men 18-49, and ranks among the Top 20 in Adults 18-34.
THE SIMPSONS is a Gracie Films Production in association with 20th Century Fox Television. James L. Brooks, Matt Groening and Al Jean are the executive producers. The Gracie Films Worldwide Brand Division develops and produces the licensed content for the series. Film Roman, a Starz company, is the animation house.