The Modern Family cast and 20th Century Fox Television are currently in negotiation for the TV show’s upcoming fourth season. Series members Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara are reportedly working on their contract deals together, just like the Friends cast did in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Negotiating contracts are a normal thing for Hollywood actors and agents often believe their their clients playing roles in successful and long running series deserve more money.
Studios more typically hold out because they seek to make a deal which favor them, since they are the actually investors. So, these disagreements can go on for quite a while before one or both sides compromises. Usually everything goes fine, but sometimes big problems can arise for the show when lead actors don’t want to concede to the studio terms?
In this Modern Family case, the show is slated to began its first reads on Tuesday, July 24, 2012, and the fourth season contracts aren’t even signed yet. The five actors are asking for paychecks in the range of $200,000 per episode, and some other residuals on show’s back-end profits. According to sources, the cast is planning to sit-out the scheduled read on Tuesday if the new deals aren’t done. That means that the fourth season for the TV series, which tied The Big Bang Theory as the top-rated comedy on TV among adults 18-49 last season, is starting out on the slow track.
Last season, Modern Family was the top scripted shows overall and drew in about 13 million viewers. The series collected 14 Emmy nominations on Thursday, including the six for the actors and a third consecutive nomination for outstanding comedy series. The show won that award the last two years in a row.
If the two sides don’t come to an agreement soon, it could lead to problems that could possibly damper the show’s past success. When actors decide they’re not going to show up for work that could effect the elements that help the series achieve success in the past. Besides, without the actors there’s no show. Thus, no Emmys, high ratings or back-end profits.