2015 has proven a scandalous year for The Simpsons, the incomparably successful animated series currently approaching its 27th (!) season on Fox. For a brief moment, a sizeable chunk of the viewing population battled the sadness associated with the supposedly impending divorce of Marge and Homer Simpson — possibly inspired by Homer's forthcoming fling with Lena Dunham. Thankfully, the couple directly addressed the rumors by promptly squashing them.
In May, news broke that Harry Shearer — the voice of staunch conservative Ned Flanders, resident asshole Mr. Burns, and a slew of others — would not be returning for the recently confirmed 27th and 28th seasons. On Tuesday, all fears were put to rest with the announcement that the entire Simpsons voice cast — including Shearer — had just signed new deals with Fox:
These new deals reportedly run for four seasons, meaning a network option status for the currently unconfirmed 29th and 30th seasons. According to EW, the deals are valued at more than $300,000 per episode — though Shearer was quick to clarify that his initial hesitance at signing on for two more seasons had nothing to do with financial incentive. "I wanted what we've always had," Shearer said shortly after negotiations stalled back in May, "[and that's] the freedom to do other work."