Modern Family stars not funny in contract tussle for $5 million each per season

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After an ugly legal battle, the adult cast of ABC’s “Modern Family” have won a yearly salary that pays them each a cool $5 million per season; with season four kicking off September 26.

The show has been dubbed a “mockumentary comedy,” but there was nothing funny about this wealthy 1% cast – that portray “normal American family members” – when fighting for more bucks as they prepare for season four that returns to ABC Sept. 26 at 9/8c. According to a recent story on the British owned TV network website, the Modern Family adult stars reached a deal this week over their ongoing dispute for a raise. In turn, TV Guide reported that each of the adult cast members were earning a whopping $175,000 per episode; with a typical season generating 25 episodes for a take home pay of nearly $4.3 million for each Modern Family star. Add to that all those TV commercials featuring the show’s Sofia Vergara; and the Columbian American is one of the highest paid women on television. However, soon after ABC renewed Modern Family for a fourth season on May 10, some of the cast attempted to renegotiate their existing contracts “to obtain higher per-episode fees, stated a Hollywood Reporter story from July 24 titled: “Modern Family Cast Sues 20th TV as Contract Renegotiation Turns Ugly.”

In turn, five of the cast members – Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara – “retained the Quinn Emanuel law firm and sued 20th Century Fox Television in Los Angeles Superior Court on July 24.” The Hollywood Reporter also noted that while not part of the lawsuit, “Ed O’Neill – who had been earning more per episode than the other five adult stars – joined his fellow cast-mates in seeking raises for each to about $200,000 per episode.”

In turn, the lawsuit was settled this week with the adult cast members now getting a cool $5 million each for a season’s work on “Modern Family.”

Modern Family dispute gets ugly as do most family quarrels

Turn to the “Modern Family” Facebook page and you’d think it’s “all happy families,” stated one fan, “but these rich actors are let’s say greedy wanting more in this economy.”

At the same time, another fan wrote on the show’s Facebook comment page that “September 26 can't get here fast enough! We can't wait for you to see what we have in store for Season 4!” That comment – that sounded more like an ABC marketing pitch, with the added comment that “the show airs on Wednesday Sept. 26 at 9/8c – doesn’t seem to match the bad-blood exhibited by the show’s adult stars who want to join the likes of other top earning funny men and women on the tube.

Thus, say other fans on Facebook, who can blame them for being greedy; while V Guide reports “Ashton Kutcher pockets $700,000 per episode for “Two and a Half Men.”

In turn, “Tina Fey earns $350,000 per episode of “30 Rock,” while good old Judge Judy (who tries hard to be funny) nets a whopping “$45 million per season,” states TV Guide. And, don’t forget, adds TV Guide, that Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki “each earn $300,000 per episode for The Big Bang Theory.”

Modern Family contract deal is sweet for the adult cast

Thus, reported Aug. 22 how Modern Family stars have reached a deal over their pay dispute. In turn, the British network – that also airs “Modern Family” in the U.K. and other parts of Europe and Asia – stated how these already wealthy stars “agreed new contracts to keep working on the show. Sofia Vergara, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell had filed a suit on Tuesday to void their contracts with 20th Century Fox. Co-star Ed O'Neill joined the case later in the week.

However, there was no word on how much the teen stars earn on Modern Family.

At the same time, the show’s Facebook page is avoiding the controversy by offering fans more grist for the mill with such topical things as “Were you more of a Manny or a Luke as a kid?”

In turn, Manny received 2,424 votes and Luke got 2,832 votes as of Aug. 22 on the Modern Family Facebook page. Also, one fan noted that "I was not like Manny or Luke because my parents were poor."

In turn, noted how the actors argued that the contracts “were illegal under a California law prohibiting personal service contracts from extending for more than seven years and asked a judge to rule that they should be invalidated. ‘Modern Family has been a breakout critical and financial success,’ the lawsuit stated. ‘That success, however, has been built upon a collection of illegal contracts.’ The lawsuit also stated that contracts capped the raises the actors received for each additional season of the show.”

Vergara still earning big bucks on Modern Family

The British network also reported how “Vergara's pay rise per season was capped at 5%, while the rest of her co-stars named in the suit were allowed to receive a maximum increase of 4% per year. Ferguson, Stonestreet, Bowen and Burrell were also required to perform numerous unpaid publicity obligations, it stated. However, a 20th Century Fox spokesman has confirmed that new deals have been reached and that filming on the ABC series' fourth season has begun.

Also, images of Eric Stonestreet filming a new episode of “Modern Family” were released to People Magazine and other entertainment media this week showing the actor “not smiling, but a lot richer,” stated one TV critic on a blog about the vast wealth of TV stars these days “that rivals Mitt Romney.”

Exact terms of the deal have not been released.

In turn, the big stick for this recent contract dispute has to be all the hardware that Modern Family has earned in recent years; with plenty of Emmy Awards going to the adult stars over the past two years, including Burrell, Bowen and Stonestreet each earning individual Emmys for their work on the show.

Also, “Modern Family” received a record 14 Primetime Emmy nominations for the recent third season – more than any American TV sitcom. The show returns to ABC on Sept. 26.

Image source of the cast of the ABC sitcom “Modern Family” - that after a recent contract dispute – will pay each adult cast member a cool $5 million each per season. Photo courtesy Wikipedia

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