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!