Nearly two months after he left "The Simpsons" in a contract dispute, veteran voice actor Harry Shearer has inked a new deal to return to the long-running animated series.
Fox trumpeted the agreement with an announcement that "each and every member of the iconic series’ voice cast" will return for the show's 27th and 28th seasons. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Shearer's contract is the same as the rest of the cast: a two-year deal with an option for two more.
The voice of dozens of "Simpsons" characters, including Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers, Ned Flanders and Seymour Skinner, Shearer left the show in mid-May, complaining the new contract wouldn't permit him to pursue outside projects. Showrunner Al Jean responded that Shearer had been “offered the same deal as the rest of the cast, but turned it down.”
The plan, Jean said at the time, was to move forward without the prolific Shearer, with new actors cast to play his many characters.
"The Simpsons" panel will be held Saturday afternoon at Comic-Con International, with Matt Groening, Jean, Executive Producer Matt Selman, supervising director Mike Anderson, director David Silverman and voice actor Nancy Cartwright. If attendees are lucky, maybe Shearer will make a surprise appearance.