The voices of Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns, Lenny, and many, many, many more familiar characters will continue, despite numerous reports of actor Harry Shearer's exit from The Simpsons.

Several weeks ago, Shearer's reported contract despite left him to leave the show after an astounding 26 seasons, with several more still in the works. The fear of Springfield without so many pivotal characters led some to speculate if this would be the final end to the show - now the longest running non-news related program in U.S. television history. As of now, those fears can be firmly pushed aside.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Shearer signed the same contract as the show's other primary voice talents: Dan Castellaneta, Yeardley Smith, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, and Hank Azaria. The contract (a reported $300,000 per episode) runs for two more seasons, plus network options for the 29th and 30th season. While speculation ran that the dispute was financially related, Shearer noted that it was tied more to his freedom to do work outside the Fox-run show. Shearer currently hosts his radio show Le Show and stars in the web series Nixon's The One.

Show-runners had a contingency plan in place in case Shearer opted not to return at all, holding seven episodes from the previous season that he participated in. The show also wouldn't simply forgo Shearer's characters, rather, replacement actors would be used - like The Muppets.

The Simpsons returns for its 27th season September 27th on Fox.