“Modern Family” stars seek big raises for season four

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Modern Family is one of the biggest TV shows that has hit ABC, and television in years. Now, its time for the ABC to start giving out the big bucks to its core cast members to keep their hit comedy running for years to come.

Currently, the stars the two-time Emmy award-winning comedy Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Sofia Vergara, Eric Stonestreet, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson all receive paychecks in the $30,000-$60,000 range – surprisingly low for the level the success of the show, but that was what was negotiated into their original contract from the shows start in 2009. Ed O’Neill, who was the biggest name on the show when it started, received around $100,000 per episode.

Since season three has wrapped, it’s rumored that all six stars are re-negotiating their contracts for a big raise. ABC and 20th Century Fox, the studio that produces Modern Family, will enter negotiations soon at an expected starting point of $200,000-$250,000 per episode.

ABC and 20th Century Fox are expected to follow the play book that CBS and Warner Brothers has a couple of years ago after the lengthy salary negotiations of the CBS’ hit comedy The Big Bang Theory. The stars from that show, Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, and Kaley Cuoco each landed bigger salaries, $200,000 per episode with hefty raises yearly, and a lucrative cut of the shows syndication dollars. Big Bang is currently one of the top shows in syndication.

It would be smart for the cast of Modern Family to ban together as a united front in the salary negotiations like the cast from Friends did, since Modern Family, like Friends, is a true ensemble comedy. No one on the show is actually the “star” – despite Ed O’Neill’s receiving billing on the show. Each cast member has equal time on the screen, so they should all receive equal pay to keep the stars happy on the set.

Modern Family is currently one of the top rated comedies on television, averaging 12 million viewers a week, reinvigorating ABC’s Wednesday night, and bringing in a multude of awards to the newtork, including a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award, and two Best Comedy Emmy’s, and Best Supporting Actor/Actress Emmys for Eric Stonestreet, Ty Burrell, and Julie Bowen, respectively. The comedy as has been sold into first-run syndication to the USA network, with many industry insiders calling it “one of the most valuable TV shows in history.” That should be a big incentive in the negotiating room.

The cast of Modern Family have become breakout stars in just a few short years. Now, its time for them to get paid like it.

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