UPDATE: The Modern Family cast is suing Fox to void their contracts per a California law that prohibits personal service contracts from extending past seven years time. Ed O’ Neill, who originally had his own separate suit due to his elevated salary track, has now joined the other cast members (Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara) in organizing a singular suit against the Fox bigwigs to get out of their contracts.
The cast and crew of Modern Family, TV’s number one comedy and recent recipient of 14 prime-time Emmy nominations, have just cancelled an 11:30am table read due to heated contract negotiations with producers at 20th Century Fox TV.
The move comes at a time when the six lead, adult actors on the show have been renegotiating their pay per episode for the upcoming season. And why wouldn’t they? They just helped the show rack up 14 Emmy nods.
Deadline is reporting that the six adult leads make anywhere from $60k to $100k with Ed O’ Neil raking in the most dough due to his heightened salary at the show’s start (Ed was already a TV star with Married With Children), and his involvement with the show’s production.
The renegotiations have already disrupted the show’s production schedule, but just how further will it go? It’s obvious that the primary cast members won’t be attending any readings until they get what they want, but will Fox give it to them? And when? The Emmy’s are not too far away.
It’ll be quite the interesting scene should the contract talks continue to plunge downwards and the show’s main stars don’t hit the podium to receive their awards (because you know the show will win; it always does).
The stars are looking for bigger paychecks, somewhere in the $100k to $200k salary range, which would put them on par with the cast of another of TV’s big comedies, The Big Bang.
These contract negotiations come on the heels of last summer’s contract talks between the two parties, which was ultimately shelved till this summer, and, as you can see, things are not heading in the right direction.
So what does this mean for next season? Renegotiations aren’t an uncommon practice—especially with successful shows—right around awards season. But when the production schedule of a show begins to be tampered with, all bets are off. Even The Simpsons were close to being cancelled last year; don’t believe for one second it couldn’t happen to this ratings juggernaut too.
Sophia Vergara is TV’s highest paid actress right now as she made somewhere upwards of $19 million last year. I’m sure she can afford to take some time off.