Now it seems as though Warner Bros. and CBS may not be making longterm plans for the veteran series with Kutcher.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Kutcher's new deal, which will net him an estimated $750,000 per episode, is only for one year, even though executives are still said to be keen to continue the money-spinning 'Men' for at least another two or three years.
The trio was previously making $60,000 each (a paltry sum, considering the show's success), but decided to renegotiate after the series became a ratings hit. Their new deals will see a $50,000 per episode pay raise each season and a percentage of the show's back-end profit, which adds around $50,000 to each episode's paycheck.
According to tvguide.com, studio and network executives have taken a "get-tough policy" when negotiating contracts for the upcoming fall shows. The salary for a lead role has reportedly dropped from $150,000 to $200,000 per episode to around $75,000 to $125,00. Still not exactly chump change, but "no one broke the bank this year on anything" says a former studio head.
Struggling in the face of falling ad revenues and falling re-run profits due to the rise of DVRs and on-line viewing, executives have stood firm on the new hardball policy. Sources say that one much sought-after, veteran actor was recently in talks for the lead in a new show. However, his asking price was $250,000 per episode. When he wouldn't lower it to below $200,000 per episode, executives passed on him and hired someone else instead.
McCallum's manager explained, "I'm sure some of the others are negotiating, but he's not affected by it. He falls into the Mark Harmon/Rocky Carroll category. He's signed on for additional seasons. He's excited to be coming back to the show and can't wait to see everybody."
But as Master Yogurt said, merchandising is where the real money from the movie comes from. Pretty soon I'm sure we'll be seeing the Glenn Beck action figure, the Glenn Beck cookbook, the Glenn Beck barbecue grill and the Glenn Beck video game for the Wii which will come with its own interactive chalkboard.
However, to put things in perspective: no matter how much the man makes from his media empire, Glenn Beck will still make a lot less in annual income than Oprah.
Sometimes it's true that all's well that ends well. And sometimes to reach that happy ending, arms are twisted, feelings are hurt, and bad blood is spilled. In the case of The Young and the Restless and actor Eric Braeden, there was a good deal of acrimony on both sides. The fact that Braeden is back in the fold now and he will continue as Victor Newman for the foreseeable future, doesn't obscure the fact that it was a nasty situation.
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.
I guess Jack Shepard will be with us through the rest of the season (and likely the rest of the series). If the character were more disposable, it's likely he would have gone the way of other now-dead Lost characters such as Charlie.
Picture This Television, the production team behind Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List and Celebrity Poker Showdown is creating a new game show for Bravo called Paycheck. The game show pits seven contestants against one another to try and figure out how much money they each make. The players must guess with the aid of questions, clues, and just plain, well, guessing. The person who guesses the correct salaries of all the players wins $25,000.
The whole "try to guess something about someone" idea sounds awfully close to Identity, and that game show isn't exactly the most compelling one on TV right now. Still, Celebrity Poker Showdown isn't a bad show, so maybe the folks behind this one have a way to make it more exciting than it sounds. Bravo has placed an order for the game show pilot.
Who do you think deserves to be the highest paid actress on television?
Other characters and their real-life salaries:
This post would have been more fitting for Father's Day, so you'll have to excuse me for not being more vigilant. At any rate, George Jefferson has been chosen as the top-earning black father of all time (in 2005 dollars) according to a survey done by Salary.com. The survey was not race specific, but it's interesting to note that Sherman Helmsley's cranky dry cleaning business owner was the only black father to make it into the top ten (he ranked fifth). The list also included Bill Cosby's Heathcliff Huxtable (The Cosby Show); James Avery's Philip Banks (Fresh Prince of Bel-Air); and Reginald VelJohnson's Carl Winslow (Family Matters). Redd Foxx's Fred Sanford also made the list, albeit toward the bottom. I'm listing him anyway because his theme song gets stuck in my head a lot.
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