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September 1, 2015

How I Met Your Mother's pay raise

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 9th 2009 12:06PM
You think the recession hasn't hit the TV industry yet? Here's some proof it has: the stars of How I Met Your Mother received pay raises...but not the kind of big money you've heard about in years gone by. The ensemble of five, Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan renegotiated with the producers (20th Century Fox TV) to boost their salaries to $90,000-$120,000 per episode. That's still a lot of money in today's economic strife, but compared to Two and a Half Men's Charlie Sheen's $825,000 per ep, it's downright modest.

Still, there's no reason to have a telethon for these stars. They're doing quite well, and the best thing about this news is that they're sticking together. Nobody is bolting the show, nobody is holding out for more than the others. That wouldn't be surprising if it did happen, because Jason Segel, for example, has had a big hit away from the show with Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He might have thought about leaving Mother's nest for more movies.

And speaking of nests, Cobie Smulders and Alyson Hannigan are both pregnant. They might have considered taking time off to have their babies and stay at home for a while instead of sticking with the show. Neil Patrick Harris has been getting a lot of work away from the show, including Dr. Horrible and this weekend's Saturday Night Live hosting duties.

So we can count on more Mother. And CBS has to be satisfied with the solid Nielsens this season, ensuring a renewal for HIMYM. When I did my forecast for 2009, I didn't include Mother in my post, but I'll tell you right now about the show's future. It's going to get bigger. It's going to pull better ratings in the next year or two for one main reason: HIMYM is going into syndication and millions and millions of viewers who've never watched the show are going to get a taste. When they do, they're going to start tuning in for fresh Monday episodes. Mother will boom, giving CBS an even more potent sitcom schedule.

That latter point, by the way, is not lost on CBS or 20th Century Fox. As part of this new salary bump, each actor agreed to add an extra year to their original seven-year contracts. Therefore, in the parlance of one Barney Stinson, we TV fans can all agree that for us (and the actors) this news is officially -- AWESOME!

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Matthew P. Christensen

Cobie Smulders has a film coming out in '09...


January 09 2009 at 10:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That's funny, the whole story about how he met their mother will have taken 8 seasons to tell.

January 09 2009 at 8:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Usama's comment

Yeah well I said it elsewhere that the show is about the goat already anyway...

January 10 2009 at 9:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would think that they're all getting the same amount and it's between that range.

Why would Jason leave the show for movies? He has a good thing going?

The same can be said for NPH. You can't count Dr. Horrible as other opportunities. It was done during the strike when they weren't working.

This is great news. And I'm so happy I don't have to worry about losing this show. The britney episodes (mostly the 2nd one) pretty much stunk, but they served their purpose and that was getting more viewers. YAY!

January 09 2009 at 5:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought the industry rule of thumb was that you needed 5 years of shows to go into 5 night a week syndication. Hasn't HIMYM only been on 2 years? And one of them was a truncated writers' strike year?

January 09 2009 at 4:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to mike's comment

Allison, I don't want to burst your bubble, but you do know what "renegotiation" means, hm?

They upped their salaries although they had a written agreement to work for less. Two times less (!).

I personally don't understand how you can extrapolate anything you wrote down here from that. Even if the two female leads are pregnant - they have contracts. They can't back out of those. All they did now is give the studio another (8th!) year on their 7 year contracts for tripling their salaries.

If you call that modest - so be it.

I call it a fat payday.

And you could've compared their situation with Steve Carrell and Zach Braff... oh and I don't really think that Dr. Horrible and hosting SNL is "a lot of work". The only person who had anything to show was Jason Segel, none of the others has anything going on for them except being pregnant.

January 09 2009 at 6:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nope, it's 100 episodes:

And this is the 4th season, and will have 86 episodes at the end of the season, so it will take 17 weeks to run through them. Which means, if it starts in syndication in September, 2009, there will be three run throughs the first year, then the 2nd year of syndication, they will have the 5th season, with the reruns starting just as the new 6th season starts. This would work out very well for the show.

January 09 2009 at 6:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yay, this is really great news! I can't imagine myself without my weekly dose of How I Met Your Mother, so I really really hope it won't end soon...
This show should really last forever!

January 09 2009 at 2:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm very happy for the cast. This is one sitcom I wouldn't mind lasting forever.

January 09 2009 at 2:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Manuel Reis

I don't think AWSOME is the best way that Barney would describe this deal.

Tell you, this is Legen- wait for it... Waaait for it... wait f- DARY!

January 09 2009 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow that's good news. I agree that HIMYM is going to take off strong in the next two years. Hopefully they can keep the funny going.

I'd be interested to see who's getting the 90,000 per ep though. Obviously, Cobie Smoulders is getting the low end as she has no outside work, but everyone else has reason for a pay bump. I wonder if that will impact the storylines.

January 09 2009 at 1:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to RevJonathan's comment

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