Apparently there is a rumor going around Hollywood that Fox may be considering cancelling The Simpsons, a show which has been on for so long, there is a generation of college kids who have never lived in a world without it.
But it isn't ratings or the quality of the show which may bring this chapter of American television to a close. No, it is simply a matter of money.
You see, the contracts of the voice cast are expiring and Fox wants them to take a large pay cut. The cast is willing to take a slightly smaller pay cut, but apparently they want a percentage of ancillary profits, meaning they'd get paid for every DVD, syndication sale and merchandise that is related to The Simpsons, which to me at least, seems entirely fair, but which Fox seemingly does not.
Personally, the way I thought The Simpsons was going to end was the death/firing/departure of one of the major voice actors and the others, including Groening deciding that without that member, the show should not and could not continue.
But in all honesty, I think the threat of cancelling the series is just that, an empty threat. The series still has better ratings than American Dad and The Cleveland Show, so to cancel it over a little money seems silly to say the least.
I think in the end, this is going to be merely a bump on the road in their contract negotiation. The numbers have gotten softer, prompting the request for lower salaries, but I don't think they are soft enough to merit cancellation.