'The Simpsons' EP Al Jean: Season 25 might not be the end

al-jean-simpsons-gi.jpgFOX's renewal of "The Simpsons" for two more seasons late last week means that the show will reach a quarter-century on the air, an unprecedented mark for a prime-time scripted series.

And given the apparently difficult negotiations to get those two seasons on the air, that will probably be it for the show, right? Not necessarily, according to long-time executive producer Al Jean.

"Our mood is elation, mixed with a sense of 'Man, we've got a lot of work to do.' Believe me, we don't look at this as these will definitely be the last two [seasons]," Jean says in an interview with EW. "We just want to keep fighting and go as long as we can. ... We really feel this isn't an end but a beginning. It's a cliché, but it's the truth."

The pickup came with "reductions all over the budget," not just for the cast, Jean says. He adds, however, that without the cast "The Simpsons" wouldn't exist. He also had this to say about cast member Harry Shearer's statement that the actors deserve a cut of the show's back-end profits:

"My personal view is the actors are extremely valuable. They are brilliant, they are the characters, which means they possess an irreplaceable commodity. And because of that, they deserve to participate in the success of the show, and I think they do."

So if Season 25 isn't necessarily the end, what could be? "I honestly think that 30 is a goal to shoot for," Jean tells EW. "... And 'Gunsmoke' did 635 episodes" -- the most ever for a prime-time show, over 20 seasons -- "so that's something to shoot for, too."
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