Uh oh. One of TV's most friendly, warmhearted shows has some ugly stuff going on behind the scenes. ABC's Modern Family has halted production after five of the show's adult stars — Sofia Vergara, Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Eric Stonestreet, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson — filed suit in a Los Angeles court to get their contracts invalidated in order to negotiate for more monies. The five (Ed O'Neill makes more and is negotiating separately) earned an estimated $65,000 per episode for the show's third season and have been offered a big raise to $150,000 for season 4, $200,000 for a fifth season, $225,000 for a sixth season, and so on until a ninth season and a $325,000/episode paycheck. (Nine seasons, guys? Really? I wouldn't be so sure...) The cast is asking for many more bones than that, though. By the time they get to the 9th season, they want to be making more than $650,000 per episode, which would put them well in the big leagues, TV salaries-wise. So network and stars are at a standstill, which must be really awkward. Y'know? Like, OK, let's say everything finally gets resolved and then you have to go back to work with all these people who you kept on hold because you weren't getting paid enough millions of dollars to say the words that someone wrote for you. Mustn't that be at least a little awkward? I'm sure they're all nice people, but still, you do kinda seem like a jerk if you sue your boss for more money and then come back to work like nothing ever happened. Again they seem like nice people so I wouldn't actually want this to happen, but wouldn't it be funny if they just got summarily fired and the show simply started over with a whole new family? "Oh, oops... Guess that backfired... Eesh." Meanwhile, the kids are still making three packets of Starbursts a day plus it's contractually obligated that the on-set tutor fudges everything and gives them all A's. [The Hollywood Reporter]
NBC has announced that Saturday Night Live will, as it did back in 2008, air two election-themed primetime specials in late September. So we can look forward to, uh, Jason Sudeikis' great, uh, Mitt Romney impression. And Fred Armisen's Obama, wow boy, that oughta be... somethin'. Hm. They're gonna have quite a hard time shoe-horning Sarah Palin into the narrative at this point, aren't they? Because without her, who really cares? There just aren't the same characters this time around. Lorne and everyone must be praying, praying, that Mitt picks some wacky bozo to be his VP. Get your Bobby Jindal impression ready, Nasim Pedrad. But even that would be... eh. Boy, there really is nobody like Sarah Palin, is there? One of a kind, that one. Something about ignorance mingling with unbridled arrogance and hunger for fame. That's a spicy meatball. [Deadline]
MTV is bringing back its landmark fashion series (I mean, can anything in fashion television really ever be called "landmark"? Maybe not) House of Style for a whole new generation. "Whole new generation" meaning that, no, Cindy Crawford won't be hosting the show. The network is currently dealing with a short-list of hosting candidates, but offers no hints as to who they might be. Our guesses would be: Taylor Momsen, Tavi Gevenson, Chris Colfer, Selena Gomez, or like some scary androgynous British model that only people who read Nylon have heard of. Don't you think that's likely the direction they're going to go? Young and pixie-ish and whatnot? The day of the Amazonian supermodel is over. Now we have wispy little sprites. That's what we have now. Anyway, here's hoping they get Francisco Lachwoski to do some segment reporting. Because... oh, just because. I don't need to explain myself to you. [Entertainment Weekly]
VH1 has greenlit a new show called Bounce, about professional basketball cheerleaders. It stars Dean Cain and Kimberly Elise. Oh dear. Let's all take a second to remember that while Dean Cain was on Lois & Clark, Kimberly Elise was in Beloved. And Set It Off! Sigh. Kimberly, we're sorry. We let you down. [Deadline]
NBC is defending its upcoming alternative family comedy The New Normal — about gay dads-to-be and their surrogate — against an attack by the pesky lunatic group One Million Moms. The network says the show is a "love letter to families," not a filthy demon-sent sex beast meant to worm its way into traditional American homes through the television and whisper dark illicit sin-spells into good Christian children's ears, making them move to walk-up apartments in Hell's Kitchen where they will watch Bravo television and work in publicity and give more money to all-powerful NBC Universal. That is not the plan, NBC U insists. So. You decide who to believe. [Entertainment Weekly]
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