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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 #41 of 111
    aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

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    Philadelphia...
    It's not so much about whether it's the number 1, 2, 3 or whatever show 18-49. It's about what the actual ratings are. The ratings for the number 1 show in 18-49 in 2012 aren't nearly as high as they were for the number 1 show in 18-49 in 1998 when Friends was on the air. Viewership industry-wide is lower, because there are more alternatives now, and people watch the show in ways that don't count toward the ratings (like, on DVRs).

    The network makes money based on how many people are watching. You count eyeballs. The comparisons to everything else on the air are secondary. Number 1 ain't what it used to be.
     
  2. Jul 25, 2012 #42 of 111
    DreadPirateRob

    DreadPirateRob Seriously?

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    Certainly. And I doubt that the cast is looking for Friends-type money, because that's no longer available.

    But, they do have leverage with the studio/network because it's by far the biggest scripted show on ABC and gets all sorts of awards and nominations that gives the network buzz, and aside from Lily, none of the cast is easily replaceable especially when they are negotiating together.
     
  3. Jul 25, 2012 #43 of 111
    DreadPirateRob

    DreadPirateRob Seriously?

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    You want fairness in a contract when one side has all the negotiating power and can just replace the other without batting an eye? Pollyanna. :)
     
  4. Jul 25, 2012 #44 of 111
    busyba

    busyba The Funcooker

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    Ok. Then I'm baffled.
     
  5. Jul 25, 2012 #45 of 111
    aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if the court will void a 7.5 year contract, or will simply "blue pencil" it to make it like it said 7 years.
     
  6. Jul 25, 2012 #46 of 111
    mattack

    mattack Active Member

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    Yeah, while some shows give out $100K or more, "Love in the Wild"'s prize is a "trip around the world". Sure, it looked like it was multi thousands of dollars (stops in like 6 cities all around the world), still very very cheap, and resulted in IIRC 8 hours of TV.
     
  7. Jul 25, 2012 #47 of 111
    mattack

    mattack Active Member

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    How long has 7 years been the standard? I sure thought it was 3-5, but this is just based on stuff I read long ago (i.e. probably wrong). I hope I'm not conflating it with the "standard" 3 picture deal for movies.
     
  8. Jul 25, 2012 #48 of 111
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    $200K an episode?
    Those are some very good salaries for an ensemble TV show especially in this day and age. And remember it's only a half hour show. Either way they signed the long term contract. Unless someone held a gun their head they have no one to blame but themselves.
     
  9. Jul 26, 2012 #49 of 111
    fmowry

    fmowry Active Member

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    They had a 4% salary bump per year in the contract (Vergara had %5 I think).

    Aside from Vergara, I think any of them could be easily replaced without affecting ratings. Fortunately for the other 5, Vergara and O'Neill are showing solidarity and negotiating with them. They'd probably get more if they went in solo.
     
  10. Jul 26, 2012 #50 of 111
    DeDondeEs

    DeDondeEs Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    This show has peaked for me. It used to be I would watch the show right after it was done recording. With this last season, I think a couple got recorded over bc I just never got around to watching it.
     
  11. Jul 26, 2012 #51 of 111
    astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I'm not sure if you read many of the above posts. Signing a long term contract at a relatively modest salary is SOP for non-stars on a new sitcom. If the show becomes a hit, it is also SOP that your contract will be renegotiated. SOP. It always happens. And neither side thinks twice. Nobody pulls out the "you signed a contract" whine; that's not how Hollywood-TV works.

    The only reason this didn't get resolved behind the scenes, and fairly quickly, is it's an ensemble show. With six actors to pay-bump, and not the usual 1 or 2 or even 3, the studios will take a slightly firmer stance in the early stages, trying to squeeze a few bucks out. But it won't matter--the actors WILL get their money, maybe not the exact amount they want, but they will get a substantial raise. And no one will remember this in three months.

    I'm not saying this "contract don't mean shyte" policy is good or bad. I'm just saying this is SOP for this industry. Trying to understand it using real world norms just makes your head hurt.:D

    Disagree. This is an incredibly popular ensemble show. Changing any of them would be disruptive. Changing several of them would kill the show. Dead. Dead. Dead.

    And going solo removes the threat of a mass defection.That's the fear that will make the studio pony up.
     
  12. Jul 26, 2012 #52 of 111
    whitson77

    whitson77 Active Member

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    If I signed a contract I would honor it. Of course if I became huge, we would ask the studio to give me a bump. It sounds like the studio offered them more than was in their contract and that was still not enough for them.

    Hard not to side with the studio in this case IMO.
     
  13. Jul 26, 2012 #53 of 111
    fmowry

    fmowry Active Member

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    I don't think they need the gay guys at all. Way over the top at this point. And I love Phil, but his wife? Could be played by anyone. The show wasn't nearly as funny this past year.

    I guess it's the reason the writers aren't asking for more money. They didn't do their jobs last year.

    If anything, the kids (aside from Lily) stole the show.
     
  14. Jul 26, 2012 #54 of 111
    billypritchard

    billypritchard Embiggener

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    This is standard practice in the tv world. The studio signed a syndication deal. In order to reach the proper number of episodes, they need to make probably two more seasons. That means the Studio needs the actors. The actors now have leverage to ask for more money. When a show first starts, the actors are hired for less money. Everyone is taking a chance, hoping the show hits. When a show hits, the studio makes a huge profit. They should be compensating the actors who helped make it a hit, and who have been paid less up to this point.
     
  15. Jul 26, 2012 #55 of 111
    DreadPirateRob

    DreadPirateRob Seriously?

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    I disagree completely. The show isn't nearly as good as it was its first season, but it's still a ratings hit by today's standards and by now the characters are well established. You couldn't just swap out Ty Burrell for anyone else, either as a new "Phil" or as a new character, and expect people not to notice. This isn't the 1960s and this isn't I Dream of Jeannie. ;)
     
  16. Jul 26, 2012 #56 of 111
    Mikeyis4dcats

    Mikeyis4dcats Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. While it hit a sophomore slump, it still garnered 14 (14!) Emmy nominations.
     
  17. Jul 26, 2012 #57 of 111
    TheMerk

    TheMerk Always Bid First

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    7 * 12 = 84

    84 + 4 = 88

    I guess I can see someone thinking 88 months was a nice round number and making a contract around that.
     
  18. Jul 26, 2012 #58 of 111
    busyba

    busyba The Funcooker

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    I thought the studio heads and agents and lawyers were all jews. No way they pick that number. ;) :D



    (look it up :p)
     
  19. Jul 26, 2012 #59 of 111
    DreadPirateRob

    DreadPirateRob Seriously?

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    This, exactly.

    Maybe people don't know this, but TV show contracts are entered into before even the pilot is fully cast. Basically, when the producers have narrowed down to a few final actors for a role, *each* of those actors is signed to a contract, and then the studio has final approval on who is going to be cast in the role. That contract - which again, is entered into before even the pilot is even filmed, much less before it is picked up for series and then becomes a hit - determines what the actor will be paid for the pilot, and if it makes it to series, what the actor will be paid for the next 5-7 years. If the actor balks at the contract he/she is presented with, the studio will in all likelihood just move on to the next candidate (unless they are a big name). Obviously, if an actor is not approved by the studio, their contract is torn up and they aren't paid anything.

    Actors are only paid for the number of episodes that are produced, so if the show doesn't make it to series or if the show gets cancelled early on, it's not like the studio is going to keep paying them. And while the studio *may* come back and offer them more money once the show is a hit, they may also try and get away with not doing so. That is why these renegotiations are entirely commonplace and standard operating procedure.
     
  20. Jul 26, 2012 #60 of 111
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Isn't a 5 year contract the norm for those situation?. Not 7 years.
     

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