The first table read for the heavily Emmy-nominated Modern Family’s fourth season is scheduled for tomorrow, but the stars may not show up. The six adult actors of the ABC sitcom have yet to secure contracts with producer 20th Century Fox.
Sources say that representatives for ensemble members Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, and Sofia Vergara, who are negotiating together, are asking for around $200,000 an episode, with raises for future seasons. This famous team negotiation likely excludes Ed O’Neill, who reportedly already makes far more than the rest of the cast. Some sources suggest that the cast won’t be at Tuesday’s table read if negotiations aren’t settled by then, though one says they will show up either way.
The Hollywood Reporter suggests that the cast made in the range of $65,000 an episode for the third season, with the exception of O’Neill, who is believed to be closer to $105,000 an episode, due to his Married…with Children fame coming into the show.
To give a bit of perspective, these negotiations amount to just under $5 million apiece for the show’s top actors this season. The ad service Kantar Media said Modern Family pulled in $164 million for ABC in 2011, and USA has purchased syndication rights for $1.5 million an episode. The sitcom is becoming a robust profit generator for the network, and it’s a typical move for stars of hit shows to renegotiate contracts after the third season.