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Modern Family cast members suing to void contracts

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by fmowry, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. Jul 25, 2012 #21 of 111
    fmowry

    fmowry Well-Known Member

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    But why sign a 7 year contract? I am all for people getting what they are worth. Sign a 2 year deal, then negotiate on years 3+.

    And a lawsuit isn't much of a negotiation.

    Ed O'Neill was making $100k an episode per his own negotiation. Now he is joining the suit in solidarity with his castmates.
     
  2. Jul 25, 2012 #22 of 111
    Mikeyis4dcats

    Mikeyis4dcats Well-Known Member

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    Whether it's $50,000 or $5,000,000 I can't hate on anyone asking for what they are worth relative to the revenue they generate.

    Sure it's a lot of money for us, but for actors on the most critically acclaimed comedy on TV right now, that's peanuts.
     
  3. Jul 25, 2012 #23 of 111
    Mikeyis4dcats

    Mikeyis4dcats Well-Known Member

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    if you're an unknown in Hollywood, as most of them were, you don't have any leverage.
     
  4. Jul 25, 2012 #24 of 111
    busyba

    busyba The Funcooker

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    That seems to be the industry standard. And when it comes to the initial contract for a new show, unless you're an established name actor, the producers hold all the cards in the negotiations.
     
  5. Jul 25, 2012 #25 of 111
    Bierboy

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

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    Julie Bowen, Ed O'Neill, Sofia Vergara = unknowns before MF? I don't think so...
     
  6. Jul 25, 2012 #26 of 111
    Mikeyis4dcats

    Mikeyis4dcats Well-Known Member

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    learn. to. read.
     
  7. Jul 25, 2012 #27 of 111
    Bierboy

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

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    Learn to punctuate properly....

    They were famous before MF...perhaps they don't represent "most" of the cast, but certainly other cast members were not "unknown". Famous? No. Unknown...no.
     
  8. Jul 25, 2012 #28 of 111
    wedgecon

    wedgecon Just Plain Awesome TCF Club

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    Well according to the article the contract they signed was for seven years 4 months.

    So if the industry standard is 7 years, is 7 years 4 months longer than the standard?

    It seems to me that the industry standard is indeed 7 years because that is the max under CA law?
     
  9. Jul 25, 2012 #29 of 111
    busyba

    busyba The Funcooker

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    That's interesting. I guess they have a case then.

    7 years 4 months is a really odd term for a contract. I wonder if that was because the show premiered as a mid-season replacement.
     
  10. Jul 25, 2012 #30 of 111
    Shaunnick

    Shaunnick Active Member

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    Perhaps this is how there agents set them up, so to leave open the window for the suing.

    Concerning the actors being relatively unknown, I will say that while Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara were known to me, I would not put them in the same category as Ed O'Neil, who is much more known to TV audiences as Ed Bundy.

    Note that the producers felt the same as he got paid more than his ensemble partners.
     
  11. Jul 25, 2012 #31 of 111
    busyba

    busyba The Funcooker

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    Then the studio has a pretty good malpractice claim against their own lawyers. :)
     
  12. Jul 25, 2012 #32 of 111
    Doggie Bear

    Doggie Bear Member

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    *Al* Bundy!! (who once scored four touchdowns in a high school football game)
     
  13. Jul 25, 2012 #33 of 111
    Shaunnick

    Shaunnick Active Member

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    /smacks head

    Of course, who could forget, "Alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll!"
     
  14. Jul 25, 2012 #34 of 111
    fmowry

    fmowry Well-Known Member

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    Can't they just kill off the little Asian kid and split her salary?

    I wonder when the kids will hold out? After the adults get paid?
     
  15. Jul 25, 2012 #35 of 111
    eddyj

    eddyj Señor Member TCF Club

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    If the show had been a dud, would they have returned the money that they were paid for those episodes to the people who put up the investment money and lost it on a dud?
     
  16. Jul 25, 2012 #36 of 111
    busyba

    busyba The Funcooker

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    Potential dud-ness is why the standard contracted salaries are so low-end in the first place. Renegotiating the contracts after a show becomes an established hit is standard practice in the industry.

    The only reason it's a lawsuit now is because A) negotiations broke down, and 2) the producers apparently screwed up and provided a legal out by making the contract terms over 7 years, which is illegal for such contracts in CA.
     
  17. Jul 25, 2012 #37 of 111
    astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    This is how Hollywood TV works. And when it is a hit, it often becomes nasty. Remember BBT a few years back, when they threatened to walk away? And I even vaguely recall LOST going thru something similar.

    The only reason this wasn't a slam-dunk renegotiation is the size of the cast. One or two stars, they'd throw a few hundred K at them and be done with it. Here they have six adults, so the studio is putting a little more effort into it.

    They will make a deal; both sides need each other. A little posturing, a few statements that will be regretted later on, and we'll be back in business. Actors making money, studios making money, audience laughing and advertisers wondering if their money really buys anything--it's what makes Hollywood great!:D
     
  18. Jul 25, 2012 #38 of 111
    DreadPirateRob

    DreadPirateRob Seriously?

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    The "people who put up the money" was a production studio, who wastes countless dollars each year during pilot season on many shows that never even make it to air much less ones that do air but don't draw ratings. So essentially, the studio takes into consideration that most shows never make it to air when signing the actors to these initial contacts, which is why the initial contracts are so low. This show had made money hand over first for ABC since it aired. It's the highest-rated scripted show that ABC has, and it's the highest rated show ABC has in the coveted 18-49 demo (4th overall amongst all shows), which means that ABC can charge really high ad rates for it.

    As astrohip said, this is pretty much par for the course and is going to be over very soon.
     
  19. Jul 25, 2012 #39 of 111
    eddyj

    eddyj Señor Member TCF Club

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    But why couldn't you have low salaries to start, but have higher ones later (if you get to later, it is because the show is doing well). Or have a clause that if the show does well, there are automatic salary bumps or something? Seems like if you sign for 7 years, you should stand by that. Otherwise why bother with having 7 year contracts in the first place, if you are just going to ignore them? I don't get Hollywood.
     
  20. Jul 25, 2012 #40 of 111
    aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

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    It didn't. It premiered in September of 2009.
     

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