Modern Family Cast Suing over Salaries. Just How Much Are they Making?

6 of the Modern Family cast members filed a suit against 20th Century Fox Television.  Ty Burrell (Phil Dunphy), Julie Bowen (Claire Dunphy), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Mitchell Pritchett), Eric Stonestreet (Cameron Tucker) and the lovely Sofia Vergara.  have petitioned the court to have their current contracts voided.

Apparently California has what they call a “7 Year Rule”.  As part of the union they cannot have contracts regarding personal services for longer than seven years.

I know what you are thinking….didn’t they know that the contract was illegal when it was first drafted?

Good Question!  Yes, however what if the show did terrible?  They would have a nice salary for seven years, but now that the show is doing awesome, they say it’s illegal so they can re-negotiate.  This tactic is common in Hollywood.

Ed O’Neill who’s salary was negotiated previously decided to join the suit as a sign of unity. He didn’t want to be the only adult cast member not included thus driving a wedge into the cast.  You could imagine how difficult that could make working together.  Very smart move.


20th Century Fox has been in the game long enough to know that it’s typical between the third and fourth season, to renegotiate contracts.  Usually at this time the cast is offered more money to stay beyond seven years.  It’s set up to be a win-win, but not this time.   Currently the cast is making $65,000 per episode (Ed O’Neill is rumored to be around $100K) so Fox Television upped the ante’

They  cracked their wallets and offered the following salary structure:

Season 4 Salary: $150,000 per episode plus a $50,000 per episode bonus

Season 5 salary:  $200,000 per episode

Season 6 Salary: $225,000 per episode

If the show goes 9 seasons the cast will be paid over $300 per episode.


The cast is asking for much more money and to show they mean business they have decided not to show up for the first table read for the fourth season.  They are no dummies, they know that Eva Longoria was getting $400K for Housewives!


The show averages 13.1 million viewers weekly.  They earned $164 million in ad revenue not to mention drawing in 13.1 million viewers allows you to have a built in audience for any show you want to play after as well as showing ads for other ABC shows. It’s the prime launching pad.  Even more money will be made when the show hits syndication.

Do the math – STUDIO MAKES $164 Million – Pays Cast 225K Per Episode * 22 Episodes * 7 Cast members = 34.6 Million.  Still leaves ABC with a healthy 127.6.

Somehow I think the cast will win this one, especially if they stick together.  You can get rid of one person but you can’t get rid of them all.

A rep for 20th Century Fox Television declined to comment.  (Wouldn’t You?)


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