Harry Shearer Staying on ‘The Simpsons’ After Inking New Deal

Mr Burns Harry Shearer
Courtesy of Fox

“Mr. Burns” will be back. After negotiating a new deal, Harry Shearer is in fact returning to “The Simpsons,” Variety has confirmed.

Under the new pact, Shearer will continue to lend his voice to the characters of Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Waylon Smithers and Principal Skinner on the long-running Fox series through seasons 27 and 28.

Shearer’s return comes after a public contract dispute, ultimately resulting in Shearer tweeting, back in May, that he’d be exiting the hit animated series after 26 seasons. He said, “This because I wanted what we’ve always had: the freedom to do other work.”

At the time, “Simpsons” exec producers Matt Groening, Al Jean and James L. Brooks released a statement, confirming his departure, and adding that Shearer’s roles would be recast, rather than his characters being killed off. “Harry Shearer was offered the same deal the rest of the cast accepted, and passed,” the trio stated. “The show will go on and we wish him well. Maggie took it hard.”

Brooks had also publicly appealed Shearer’s decision to exit, suggesting that contract negotiations would continue. “Hey, we tried. We’re still trying. Harry, no kidding, let’s talk,” the producer tweeted in May.

Shearer’s return marks a full six-lead confirmation for seasons 27 and 28, as all principal voice performers are now confirmed, including Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith and Hank Azaria. All have been in their roles since 1989.

“The Simpsons,” recently renewed through 2017, returns to Fox on Sept. 27.

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  1. Paul Lane says:

    God is in his Heaven and all is right with the World. Who is HS ??
    Listen to his “Excellent” Radio program Le Show on NPR,

  2. Chelsea says:

    Yay :)

  3. chad says:


  4. mikel says:

    Awwww, killing off Burns, Flanders, and Smithers in a murder murder suicide would almost make Simpsons worth watching again.

  5. Mark says:

    Why? He’s easily replaced. And another actor would be a whole lot cheaper considering he only works on the show a few hours a month. Who knows who harry sherer is anyway? It’s not like he’s Billy West or anything.

  6. Peas and Tanks says:

    Was there really ever any doubt that he’d be back?

  7. @EWagmeister in the 2nd to the last graf you seem to referring to James L. Brooks @canyonjim as “Mr. Burns” – I didn’t realize the character was based on him.

  8. cadavra says:

    Finally! Ted Cruz has done something worthwhile for his adopted country!

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