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The actors who give voice to Homer, Marge and other characters on "The Simpsons" reportedly skipped work on Fox's animated series as contract renewal talks hit an impasse.

Each cast member is seeking about $360,000 an episode, or $8 million for the 22-episode, 2004-05 season, the trade paper Daily Variety said Thursday, citing unidentified sources.

The actors currently earn $125,000 an episode, Variety said.

The contract dispute involves Dan Castellaneta (Homer); Julie Kavner (Marge); Hank Azaria (Moe, Apu and others); Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns and others); Yeardley Smith (Lisa) and Nancy Cartwright (Bart), the paper said.

The cast reportedly held up production on the show's 16th season by missing two "table reads," at which a script is performed informally.

The actors' previous deal, which covered seasons 13, 14 and 15, was reached without complication.

In 1998, however, the actors except for Kavner, who had a previous deal in effect sought big pay increases. At that time, the performers made $30,000 from a show that has proved a huge international moneymaker.

Efforts to reach a new deal have been under way for several months, Variety said.

Twentieth Century Fox Television and James L. Brooks' Gracie Films produce the show. Fox declined to comment Thursday and Gracie Films did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Representatives for Azaria, Shearer, Smith and Kavner declined to comment Thursday. Calls requesting comment from Cartwright and Castellaneta were not immediately returned.
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