Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Modern Family Cast Suing To Get Big Raises


The six lead actors of Modern Family have filed a lawsuit to try and void their contracts. They are claiming that the contracts run for longer than the seven year maximum for personal services contracts. Considering that they run from 2009-2016 that would make them 7 years. What they are trying to do here is to get bigger raises. Ed O'Neill makes the most by far of everyone but he joined in on the lawsuit. The rest of the cast is being offered $150,000 per episode and they want much more. They want numbers approaching what the Friends cast made. Not quite $1M, but way more than $150K an episode. There are about 26 episodes in a season, so you can see they are not exactly hurting for money, but they want to share in the good fortune of the show. Production was supposed to start yesterday with a table reading but that has been delayed and no one is going to work until all of this salary stuff is settled. With all six lead cast members on board and united, they will probably get whatever they are asking.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

damn....clearly I went into the wrong profession. One episode of that show and I'd be student loan free.

Lissette said...

You said it, Steph

Patty said...

Well, if this means that I don't need to see that Sofia Viagra person as often, then just go ahead and cancel it. Buh-bye.

cheesegrater15 said...

^^This^^

cheesegrater15 said...

In other news, Katherine Jackson is returning to LA. Randy, Janet, and Jermaine are fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked.

Linnea said...

That show is ok, but nowhere near good enough to deserve as many prices ass try have gotten. However, I will support ther pay rises fully if they just find a new kid to play sofia vergaras son. He is truly awful

Linnea said...

*prizes, as, they. Le sigh.

Grey said...

I never really found this show funny. Happy Endings on the other hand is hilarious

katsm0711 said...

They so deserve it. I was shocked when I found out how little they made! MAYBE a kid could be replaced but that's a huge maybe. None of the adults can. E replaced or let go. Yeah it's even the chemistry the adults have with the kids that make it amazing. I laugh and then there's a warm sweet moment. It's perfect. They better not pull a Becky Conner move.

Cleodacat said...

Sorry, no sympathy...let 'em all go and call it a night. I am tired of people that make over a mil a year whining about how it is not enough.

KZoeT said...

My heart breaks for them, really. I mean how could anyone actually live off $150,000 per episode in this day and age? Would that even cover a week's worth of hookers and blow?

Poor guys. I hope someone steps up and fights the good fight for them.

a non a miss said...

I don't see the appeal of this show, so I don't care about these greedy folks. I'm sorry they can't by on 4 million a year, that's their fault.

a non a miss said...

@grey- I thought I was alone in my love for happy endings! Such a hilarious show!

lazyday603 said...

Nobody will ever see Friends/Seinfeld cast money again. Reality TV has killed acting salaries in TV just as much as offshoring IT work to India has wiped out half of the US computer support industry. This will just give the networks another excuse to let HBO and AMC do primetime drama exclusively.

Robert said...

Give Charo a call, for starters...she'll work for WAY less, I'm sure!

Unknown said...

I think they should at least make more than the cast of Jersey shore. but I don't feel bad for then in the at all.

Unknown said...

*them at all.

paul said...

These people were all 'D List' before the show was created. Now, in addition to their huge salaries, they are making more money with commercials and guest spots on other shows. Greed has kicked in. I have to agree, they probably will get what they demand.

Redheat said...

Really??? I don't watch the show. I've tried a few times but don't really think it's funny. I'm guessing this will come back to bite them, not a lot of Americans are going to be feeling any sympathy for these people. Different time then the Friends, and Seinfeld days.

anita_mark said...

Is that show Friends level? Friends was a phenomenon, this is just an amusing show people like. I understand why actors want that kind of money (not saying I agree), they get typecast and are forever seen as Monica or Kramer, etc. But this cast isn't really at that level at all.

katsm0711 said...

It's about them earning their fair share of what the show earns. What they do with their money is their business. If they don't get their fair share it means maybe the producers or creators or whoever are getting a greedy cut of the balance. Just because they earn in the million dollar range and you don't doesn't mean that it's ok for them to make less than they deserve. It's all relative. Do millions of people watch you at your job every night? They're not greedy. $65,000 is ridiculous compared to other shows.

ed said...

No one has mentioned that Fox recently received a very rich sum for the syndication rights and USA will be the one airing the episodes starting next year. The cast is not on the receiving end of this chunk of cash as far as I understand, which is why this is happening. Good luck to them.

katsm0711 said...

Thank you Ed! It's about getting their fair share.

Little Miss Smoke and Mirrors said...

I think the cast should go for it. The studio and network are making BANK, and Modern Family is going to be very popular in syndication. Why shouldn't they enjoy the same type of deals the Friends and Seinfeld casts got?

Jennifer H. said...

Good for them. I hope they get what they want. There's nothing wrong with wanting to be paid your worth.

Jesse D said...

I agree that they should earn what they are worth. I think re negotiations should occur with original contracts if the show is really successful, as this one has been. I love this show, the rapport between cast members is magic. Funny funny stuff. And Ed O'Neil is comedic genius.

lolaluvs2snack said...

Obviously, I went into the wrong profession as well. But there is still time!

I'm about to be the new face of vagina warts, next move on up to a Mcdonalds commercial. Then curtsy over to a Tyler Perry sitcom, finally starring in straight to dvd with Jeremy Piven!!

Unknown said...

this ^

Unknown said...

hell no! and the cast of friends only made a million an episode during the last season. i was very young during the early seasons of friends so idk if they ever tried to pull this kind of stuff in the 90s but modern family is only going into what it's 4th season pshhh they aren't worthy of a raise yet, when they put in as many seasons as the cast of friends, seinfeld, will & grace, frasier, cheers did then maybe they can ask for a raise

seaward said...

Wow, I'm surprised they only are getting 150k per episode. That's a LOT to me, but doesn't seem fair to them based on what the show actually earns.
I just feel bad for the crew who is going to be out of work till this is settled, hopefully it won't be long.

NomNom83 said...

Wonder where this leaves all the child actors? Except for Replacement Lilly. I really do not care for how they wrote her character last season. She is the Michelle Tanner of this decade. If you wrote Michelle as more of a willfull brat and took away "You got it, dude!"

Texshan said...

Cry me a river. You know what "their fair share" is? The amount of money specified in the contracts they signed. That's what's fair. I can't stand it when anyone -- particularly athletes and actors -- sign contracts and then whine later about how underpaid and unappreciated they are. Dude, you freely signed the contract. It is a legal document, not a suggestion. If I were the producers of the show, I would threaten these people with a civil suit for violating the terms of their contracts if their asses didn't show up for work.

meredith said...

Well said, Texshan.

Jolene Jolene said...

I'm with katsm. These people ARE the show. If it wasn't for them, there wouldn't be a Modern Family (same if the creator, writers, etc. left) and ABC wouldn't be making a TON of money off of it. It's not about "Oh they don't need more than $1 million, how greedy," it's about getting their fair cut. I know people who read this site don't make that kind of money, but you really need to look at the big picture. It's called business, folks.

Aly said...

Another post in error by Faux-Enty.
The suit concerns negotiations for future SEASONS EIGHT AND NINE!!! So the producers are offering a raise above their current 50K-60K/week, with Ed O'Neil is at 105K/week, and also reopening the current contract and offering the raise to 150K/week for all of them.

Way to screw another one up Faux-Enty

Jolene Jolene said...

And I'm not even talking about the legal ramifications. Like Texshan said, if they legally aren't entitled to that money because of the contracts they willingly signed, then they're SOL and I don't give a shit. If they're contracts were up for renewal, then I understand asking for more $.

violet said...

Sigh. This is all so deflating. Why am I struggling to pay college tuition for my two kids (soon to be three). My kids are smart and first two are majoring in chemistry and bio engineering. But they're good looking too, so I should have just sold them into the p0rny hwood machine to make a profit.
Apologize for the Debbie downer moment. Just tired of the great divide.

Sherry said...

Ashley you are GORGEOUS!

Dayum..26 episodes. That is a lot for a sitcom these days. And no they are not being greedy. This show makes buttloads of money for the producers via advertising dollars. This is just SOP. They deserve it. But then this is my favorite show.

And in their defense as far as a breech of contract there may be a clause that stipulates they can renegotiate (either via SAG or the show) based on earnings. A good agent would make sure someone got that in their contract on a sitcom. It's not like no other show has exploded in popularity and this would be a surprise move.

Former actor speaking. But not good enough to land a sitcom obviously!! :)

0_0 said...

If a show doesn't do well, it gets canceled and those contracts are worthless. IF it does, I feel the cast should share more in it, like professional athletes should.

Writers/ producers/ directors & such are fine. Other crew are interchangeable and slots would open for whatever show replaces MF.

Jen said...

I think the writers are "the show". Any actor worth their profession can deliver these lines. I know an 18 year old who does improve and she's beautiful and hilarious. Anyone can do their jobs. Sorry, but it's not rocket science. Writing, on the other hand, is hard, and funny writing is even harder. The writers deserve the increase in dough, not these fools.

Texshan said...

So answer me this -- say the show wasn't a hit. Say it did OK, but not as well as expected, and the ad revenue wasn't as high as people thought it would be. Does that mean the producers should be able to cut the pay of the actors? Because that's the flip side of saying "the show makes a lot of money, so the actors are entitled to it."

I think people should be held accountable for their actions and to the contracts they agreed to. Now, if this is for future money after the current contracts expire, that's different. But I really, really hate "contract renegotiations." To me, that's just trying to weasel out of an agreement you made. It tells me your word means nothing.

Also, the actors don't "make" the show all of their own. They would just stand there looking vacant if they didn't have writers telling them what to say and directors telling them how to say it.

Sherry said...

Yes, I agree. Writers are truly the unsung heroes and honestly they get paid shit. I'm in the middle of the Pauline Kael biography and this was her mantra. It's an age old issue. BUT, what good is a script without someone to perform it and perform it well enough to resonate with an audience and make the people involved money? And don't get me started on directors. Lord knows how they do it because that seems like the toughest job of all.
However, it's common practice for contract renegotiation amoung hit shows.

Look at it this way. You're hired at your present job for $100,000 a year.(You live in CA and cannot afford a houe however LOL!) After 5years and multiple contributions should you NOT get a raise?

Texshan, you're a smart chick and I find it hard to believe someone wouldn't find you worth more money as you continue in a job. If that's not a contract renegotiation I don't know what you would call it.

MAC said...

You would think that these actors would have learned something from the writer's strike a few years back. If the show gets delayed, people simply will forget about it. It's hard to get your viewers back once they get out of the habit of watching you. Ed O'Neil was the only person I had heard of when the show started, so that is why he received more money. It's a good show, but honestly I don't know how they could do 7 seasons much less 8 or 9. It all starts to be the same, bumbling husband, control freak mom, loveable gay guy, kid that is smarter than the adults x2, kid that is moronx2, yada, yada, yada... Season one was great, but season two was just more of season one. It gets old after awhile. They signed the contracts that they did not knowing if the show would last one season. With the sucess of the show your bonus is in the form of guaranteed employment for a while. They should have put a clause in their contract about bonuses for Emmy nominations, ratings or just not have signed a 7 year contract. Just my opinion...

dia papaya said...

@steph20 and @violet - Here! Here! I'm on the 30yr maybe repayment plan. If it gets bad, I'm fleeing to South America to escape debtors prison.

@jen and @sherry - Writers should get paid the most. Without their amazing words actors are just pretty to look at.

Unknown said...

if you're talking to me, thank you very much. :)

Sherry said...

Ashley, yes YOU girl. OWN IT!

Dia: Amen. But it takes at least a little skill to make those words come alive.

Sherry said...

And if I may add one more thing. All those shows we know and love from the 60's..Gilligan's Island, Bewitched, etc...None of those actors gets paid a dime. SAG had to negotiate that. Now you feel sorry for the producers? Same when stuff started to be released in another media. Someone made a lot of money and weren't interested in sharing with the people who performed it.

dia papaya said...

Sorry Sherry. That sounded better in my head. No offense to your amazing acting skills. Hopefully you get the gist! :)

dia papaya said...

Obviously I need a better writer ;)

Sherry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sherry said...

Papaya: LOL! No I agree with you. I am so over the crap they shove at us when we know there is some amazing stuff out there. I would think being a writer in H'wd would be a soul sucking experience. Seriously, read the Pauline Kael book "A Life In The Dark".

And if I had "amazing" acting skills my ass wouldn't be selling software. Or maybe that's why I am. Who can say.

lilo723 said...

I don't watch this show, because I find all 6 of the people suing incredibly annoying.

uofazwildkitty said...

so ya can sign a contract,
then decide, naaaaaaah.

methinks it's a union-backed action.

the "precious" show has jumped the shark.

cancel, in the interest of contract law.

Sis said...

I'm with Violet and Ashley! I'm on the train of the writers getting more money and how about the producers, the lighting people etc? It's not just the actors who made this show successful.

Texshan said...

Hey, Sherry, thanks for the compliment! My belief is, if you sign a contract, you need to abide by the terms of it. If I signed a five-year employment contract for a flat $100k a year, I shouldn't expect (or demand) more than that $100k for the next five years. However, if I kick ass at my job and bring in tons of money for the company, when my contract is up I should try to negotiate for more money then.

Sherry said...

Perhaps my friend. But easier said than done. If rules have changed within the company and others are getting a larger share you might not be so willing to abide by said contract. An honest company would also compensate you appropriately. All conjecture of course. I applaud your integrity however. There aren't a lot of people still out there not completely motivated by greed (and I don't see their move as greedy incidentally). It's SOP in the industry. Here's a more detailed version from the H'Wd reporter which indicates how Fox has violated a state law and also that they are offering them more but they're requesting a different amount. The use of the word "sue" seems offputting. As I indicated...SOP.

http://instinctmagazine.com/blogs/blog/modern-family-contract-renegotiations-get-nasty?directory=100011

Anonymous said...

Never this show was anything special. Saw a few episodes and forgot about it.
I hope they cancel it.

Matthew said...

Judging by fair market value, 150k an episode is actually kinda low. Obviously there is the cry me a river aspect, like when famous athletes making 5+ mil a season complain about not being able to feed their kids (I am looking at you Ty Law!)

That being said, their clout for a big raise isn't that strong. Julie Bowen was good on Boston Legal, but nothing says she brings anything that unique other than face recogonition. Two guys who play up every homosexual stereotype? Go for it, wasn't that great in Will and Grace and less effective here. Get noms though...

I guess I understand Ed O'niell, but for some reason, I doubt he needs the money either way. Basically he is the only actor that has any track record of being funny.

Oh well, I think they can get at least 250k a show, but I don't think they can press too hard, since for most this will be probably be their best gig of their careers'.

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