Despite claiming he was out of The Simpsons for good, Harry Shearer has been lured back to the long-running FOX series, signing a new contract with the show.

Harry Shearer / Credit: FAMOUS

Harry Shearer / Credit: FAMOUS

Fans were shocked earlier this year in May, when Shearer revealed a dispute with producers over his "freedom to do other work" led to him leaving the franchise altogether.

Now though with production on season 27 set to begin, the deadline for each party to resolve the conflict was tight, but producer James L Brooks reassured viewers that talks would continue.

EW now reports that the voice of characters such as Mr Burns has signed the same contract as his five fellow primary castmembers - a four-season deal said to include a network option for a 29th and 30th season.

Shearer joins Dan Castellaneta, Yeardley Smith, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright and Hank Azaria in earning an estimated $300,000 per episode.

Work's now underway on the new episodes, and executive producer Al Jean had previously said that should Shearer not return, his list of iconic characters left behind would be recast instead of retired. This lead to a plethora of YouTube impersonators auditioning for the role.

Unfortunately for them, the veteran is back at work.

The Simpsons returns to FOX in the US on September 27.

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