Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara have filed suit today in Los Angeles Superior Court to void their contracts.”[THR]
Maybe they’re not so great at getting along, after all?! The cast of ABC’s megahit and critically adored sitcom, Modern Family, has done the unthinkable and asked the LA Superior Court to void their contracts. The show’s fourth season was to have begun filming yesterday with a table read of the first episode, but contract negotiations have prevented the show’s main adult stars (apart from Ed O’Neill) from participating. For the record, O’Neill has joined the others in the lawsuit as plaintiff. At issue is whether the actors’ rights were violated by their contracts which they claim flies in the face of the state’s “7 Year Rule” which does not allow personal services contracts for periods of more than seven years. Actors often challenge such clauses when renegotiating for higher salaries.
As things currently stand, Ed O’Neill is the highest paid member of the cast at $105,000 per episode. The other adult actors on the show make $65,000 per episode. Modern Family generated $164 million for ABC throughout 2011.
Officially, there is no word from ABC or 20th Century Fox regarding the negotiations. With the Emmy’s coming up and the recent disclosure by Forbes that Sofia Vergara is now television’s highest paid actress, you can bet neither side is going to budge until things get very tight and very ugly. Hey, there’s a reason it’s called show business.