The long-running 20th Century Fox Television comedy’s season-eight finale is scheduled to air May 17. The renewal signals a conclusion to lengthy negotiations with the show’s adult cast members, whose contracts expire at the end of the current season.
Sources tell Variety that most of the show’s core cast members — Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, and Ty Burrell — will see their paychecks rise to nearly $500,000 per episode for the next two seasons, up from about $350,000 under their previous contracts. Ed O’Neill has in the past commanded a higher fee as he has since the series premiere. O’Neill also has a bigger profit participation stake than his co-stars given his higher profile at the time the series bowed in 2009.
The other five actors earned small profit-participation stakes in the show during the previous contract negotiations but they are not believed to have gained any additional points this time around.
Deals are still being hammered out for the show’s younger stars: Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter, Rico Rodriguez, Nolan Gould, and Aubrey Anderson-Emmons. Those actors are expected to get a pay bump but not to the same level as their TV parents.
Created by Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd, “Modern Family” remains TV’s second highest-rated comedy, behind CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” — which landed its own two-season renewal in March after contract wrangling with the show’s five original cast members. In its eighth season, “Modern Family” has averaged a 2.2 rating in the 18-49 demo and 7 million total viewers, according to Nielsen live-plus-same day numbers.
“Modern Family has been the centerpiece of our comedy brand for 8 seasons and we are thrilled to have it on our schedule for two more years,” said ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey. “Steve and Chris have created such endearing characters, and the cast is second-to-none.”
“Modern Family remains one of the studio’s most prized assets and we are enormously grateful to ABC for this two year pickup. Steve and Chris are genius producers who created nothing less than a television classic, and they would be the first to tell you that their cast and crew are the best there is. We feel incredibly proud to be the studio supporting them and look forward to many more hilarious episodes.”
“Modern Family remains one of the studio’s most prized assets and we are enormously grateful to ABC for this two year pickup,” said Jonnie Davis and Howard Kurtzman, presidents of 20th Century Fox Television. “Steve and Chris are genius producers who created nothing less than a television classic, and they would be the first to tell you that their cast and crew are the best there is. We feel incredibly proud to be the studio supporting them and look forward to many more hilarious episodes.”
Speaking at an Emmys FYC panel moderated by Variety‘s Elizabeth Wagmeister last week, “Modern Family” executive producer and co-creator Steve Levitan said that the writers room for the show’s ninth season would soon be up and running. “In about a month or so, the writers will re-gather and we will sit down and we will start the season with a big, ‘What now?’” Levitan said.
(Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.)