You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Modern Family’ cast to share in show’s wealth

Actors, 20th Century Fox TV in salary renegotiation talks

The stars of “Modern Family” are looking forward to pay raises before they return to work this summer for the laffer’s third season.

The cast members are in the midst of salary renegotiations with 20th Century Fox TV in recognition of the show’s success on ABC and the boffo syndication pact inked last year. And if that weren’t enough to keep the biz-affairs folks at the studio busy this summer, it’s understood that salary talks for key “Glee” cast members will also be held later this summer.

Nobody’s talking on the record, but it is expected that the new pacts will bring the adult members of the “Family” cast to parity in their paychecks, with the exception of Ed O’Neill. O’Neill came into the show at a higher rate than the other five adult thesps, given his higher profile and sitcom chops from the “Married … with Children” days.

But O’Neill also shaved some bucks off of his quote, starting out in season one at about $95,000 per seg, in exchange for a small backend stake in the show — a gamble that will pay off big time for the veteran thesp.

The other adult actors started out at salaries that were said to range from about $30,000 per seg to about $60,000. Industry insiders predict the quintet — Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara — will wind up near a six-figure sum the third season, with escalators built in for future seasons.

As is common in salary renegotiations, the thesps will add a few more years onto their contracts with the studio, which at present run through season six. Industry observers say it’s highly unlikely that any of the other thesps will be able to command a sliver of the backend.

O’Neill is expected to rise to at least $150,000 for season three.

Sources cautioned that the deals are still in the negotiating phase and that final details have not been set. Insiders say the talks so far have not been contentious, in part because 20th was willing to engage in salary renegotiations sooner rather than later.

There’s been speculation about whether the “Family” five would engage in a “Friends”-like tactic of putting up a united front with the studio. That isn’t happening, insiders say, but it’s noteworthy that the four adult men are repped by the same tenpercentery, ICM. Bowen is repped by Paradigm; Vergara is with WME.

In addition to the syndication riches, which kick in when the show preems on USA Network and broadcast stations in 2013, 20th will likely get some help in absorbing the higher costs on “Family” after another season or two under the terms of its perpetual license fee agreement with ABC.

Under those terms, in exchange for giving up the right to renegotiate the license fee agreement or relocate the show after a few seasons, the network will have to cover the studio’s deficits on the show, so long as it hits certain ratings targets. In most ABC perpetual license fee deals, the deficit coverage provision begins in season four or five.

The renegotiations for the “Family” clan come a few months after Warner Bros. TV went through salary renegotiations with the cast of CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory.” In that case, the three principal stars — Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons — got the same salary bump, to $200,000 per seg, despite an effort by Parsons reps to demand more in light of his breakout status and Emmy win for lead comedy actor.

“Family’s” Stonestreet brings a supporting actor Emmy win to the table in his negotiations, but sources close to the situation predict that the trophy may not hold much sway as the studio focuses on salary parity and maintaining harmony on the set.

The calculations on “Glee” may require an even more elaborate pecking order given its lengthy list of actors, although Jane Lynch, Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison are surely at the head of the class. But the “Glee” gang is not in the same financial position as “Family.” “Family” nabbed an eye-popping $1.5 million per episode from USA Network, with many millions more to come from broadcast TV stations. “Glee” rerun rights sold for far less to cabler Oxygen.

(Cynthia Littleton contributed to this story.)

More TV

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Signs of Solidarity and Strain Emerge as Week 2 of WGA-Talent Agency Standoff Begins

    Hundreds of WGA members rallied solidly behind their union last week as the industry grappled with uncertainties spurred by the sudden break between writers and their talent agency representatives. But as the standoff heads into its second week, signs of strain among some WGA members are beginning to emerge. Shalom Auslander, author and creator of [...]

  • Jon Snow Arya Stark Game of

    'Game of Thrones' Final Season Vegas Odds Reveal Wild Theories

    With “Game of Thrones” hype at an all-time high, Las Vegas may be raking in as much money as the Iron Bank. HBO’s fantasy masterpiece has seized the gambling world’s attention nearly as much as the Super Bowl or Kentucky Derby. Fans spew countless theories on social media, such as which characters will be axed [...]

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • Adam Lambert, of Queen, performs at

    Adam Lambert Back to 'Idol' to Mentor Finalists Through Queen's Catalog

    Adam Lambert famously launched his career on “American Idol” a decade ago performing a brilliant audition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” He wrapped that amazing eighth season performing with the band on the season finale, and years later earned his current spot as the front man touring as Queen + Adam Lambert. On April 28, Lambert comes full circle as he steps [...]

  • Lily Tomlin SAG Lifetime Acheivement Award

    TV News Roundup: Netflix's 'Laugh-In' 50th Anniversary Tribute Sets Premiere Date

    In today’s TV News roundup, Netflix sets the premiere date for its 50th anniversary special of “Laugh-In.” DATES “Laugh-In: The Stars Celebrate,” the 50th anniversary tribute to the original series by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, will premiere on Netflix on May 14. The special, which was taped at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, pays [...]

  • Texas Tech's Norense Odiase (32) shoots

    Live+3 Ratings for Week of April 8: NCAA Championship Game Dunks on Competition

    The final of the 2019 NCAA basketball tournament, in which Virginia triumphed over a spirited Texas Tech team, unsurprisingly finished way out in front in the Live+3 ratings for the week of April 8. Although the sports broadcast’s scripted competition made some gains, its 5.4 ratings still more than doubled that of “Grey’s Anatomy” in [...]

  • Mueller Report Release Draws 11 Million

    Mueller Report Release Draws 11 Million Total Viewers Across TV News

    Coverage of the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into whether President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice unsurprisingly caused a ratings bump across TV news yesterday. In terms of overall viewership, around 11 million people tuned in to see Attorney General William Barr’s news conference regarding the report’s release, and the news coverage surrounding it. According [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content