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Date: April 2, 1998

"Simpsons" Get Their Voices Back
by Daniel Frankel

The argument over which Dick--York or Sargent--was a better Darren in Bewitched has raged since forever. Luckily, we won't have to endure any of the same discussion in regards to Homer Simpson.

Late Wednesday night, 20th Century Fox and the holdout voices of Homer, Lisa and more than 40 other characters on the animated hit The Simpsons, agreed to contract terms.

The 11th-hour deal means Fox won't have to replace Dan Castellaneta (Homer), Yeardly Smith (Lisa), Hank Azaria (Apu, Moe, et. al.), Harry Shearer (Flanders, Smithers, et. al.).

With production deadlines for the show's 10th season going into red alert (once signed, the actors returned immediately to work Thursday morning), the studio admitted last week it was ready to audition new voices in several major cities.

"Production for next season began on schedule this morning, with a table read with all the actors in attendance," claims a Fox statement.

Under the terms of the new contract, each of the holdout voice actors--including the previously signed Julie Kavner (Marge) and Nancy Cartwright (Bart)--will reportedly receive $50,000 per episode next season and a $1 million bonus in 2005. Their per-episode pay will reportedly increase by $10,000 in each of the following years.