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Katey Sagal talks about contentious Futurama negotiations - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 7th 2009 1:45PM
Katey SagalAt last night's FOX party at the Langham Huntington's "Horseshoe Garden," I ran into (TV Squad reader) Katey Sagal, who was there in support of her excellent FX show Sons of Anarchy. Before we could get into any questions about that show, though, I wanted to know about the contentious negotiations between 20th Century Fox and the voice cast of Futurama that finally were wrapped up last week.

Her reaction? Slightly perturbed, but not surprised, given her industry experience. "Well, it's what always happens. We're starting our sixth season, and the actors felt that it was deserving of a sixth-season salary. And we weren't being offered that. We were united in our search for... we wanted what's fair, that's all."

When 20th put out a casting notice looking for replacement voices, Sagal said, "I wasn't surprised. It's business."

Did she think there was any chance they would replace the cast? "Well... first of all, I think it would be very hard to find five people to replace us. I think that it would have been a very different show. The fanbase for Futurama is so fiercely loyal; that's why we're back, because of the fanbase. And I think they were upset, really upset that the voices would be different.

"I don't think you can replace Billy West. I don't think you can replace John DiMaggio. But I'm sure they got submissions; I'm sure they got people that, you know, thought they could do that."

She told me that the first table read for the new season would take place today. Which means we probably won't be seeing episodes for about a year. Looking forward to it, though, and glad to see everyone's on board.

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izikavazo

I think Katey's voice would be the hardest to replicate. The other voices are all just cartoon, voice-acting voices, they aren't terribly unique. But Katey's voice is just her voice, it isn't faked in any way.
*Jimmy_Mo
Yes she is extremely hot.

August 10 2009 at 2:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David

I don't think it's a case of greed. When you're an actor, you can have years and years where you're waiting tables and living on peanut butter sandwiches in a studio apartment because it's all you can afford. If you're lucky enough to finally get on a TV show in your entire career, you've got to negotiate for as much money as you can for the short life of that show, because you may have to make it last the rest of your life. Besides, I saw one post by one of the actors (I forget which one) who said they were more looking for what you might get as a second-season salary if you were on a regular sitcom. And while Futurama for sure hasn't had the success of the Simpsons, the producers are raking in millions from DVD sales, and will continue to do so for years. I don't think Katey and the rest of the actors were being too unreasonable in wanting a bigger share of that.

August 08 2009 at 11:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy

Forget Futurama or Sons of Anarchy. Is she returning to LOST as Locke's ex-girlfriend? I believe that Widmore faked her character's death...

August 07 2009 at 10:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
YouFaceTheTick

Voice over work is stupid easy. The woman is rolling in dough from Married...with Children for life. This is about greed. Nothing more.

August 07 2009 at 10:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bruce

While I agree they deserve some sort of raise, assuming there is such a thing as a "sixth season salary" surely that doesn't apply to a show that's cancelled and then brought back (to cable, no less) after a 5-6 year hiatus. It's not like it's been on for 6 seasons in a row over 6 years. It's basically starting over. Sure, the show has a good fanbase, but not the same fanbase it would have going into its 6th straight season.

But I certainly agree that the voice cast - especially Billy West - are irreplaceable and they should have worked with them. But if the cast wanted the same salaries the Simpsons cast was getting in that show's 6th season (adjusted for inflation) I don't think that's a fair measure.

August 07 2009 at 9:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bruce's comment
jim

Bruce, why does it matter if it's consecutive? This is technically the sixth season. They have the equivalent of five-years experience with a company, and the company wants to hire them back at entry-level?

I'm glad it got worked out, at any rate.

August 08 2009 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy_MO

This has nothing to do with the article, but I have to say: I find Katey Sagal to be really hot.

August 07 2009 at 9:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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