We can hear a resounding "d'oh" from Simpsons fans around the world: After 23 seasons of animated entertainment and billions of dollars of profits, The Simpsons may be coming to an end. 

According to The Daily Beast, 20th Century Fox plans to pull the plug on the long-lucrative series due to failed contract negotiations with the six voice actors behind America's favorite animated family. Fox apparently incited the bitter battle by offering the cast an ultimatum: they could either take a whopping 45% pay cut or the show would come to end with the current season, the last episode of which is set to air next Spring.

Dan Castellaneta (Homer and others), Julie Kavner (Marge and other), Nancy Cartwright (Bart and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa), Hank Azaria (Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Apu and others) and Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns and others), make quite a bit of bank, almost $8 million dollars each year. If they were to accept Fox's offer, they would make around $4 Million. Still a sizeable chunk of change, but a massive downgrade in dollars, nonetheless.

While the cast has counter-offered, agreeing to take a 30% pay-cut in exchange for a small percentage of the profits from the show's syndication, merchandising and other back-end profits that they have long been cut-out from, Fox isn't biting and has opted to play hardball instead.

While we've long debated the decline in the quality of the show's humor, we can't help but feel a strong sense of loss when faced with the threat of Springfield's impending apocalypse. Are we the only ones unprepared for Homer's abrupt departure?

[Via The Daily Beast]