Jun 29, 2009, by Michael Ausiello Categories: Law & Order: SVU, News
Phew, that was a close one.
After months of tense negotiations, Law & Order: SVU headliners Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay have inked new deals to remain on the beat for not one but two more years, sources confirm to me exclusively.
The two-year part comes with an asterisk since, as you know, SVU has only been picked up for one more season (its 11th). Basically, if NBC renews the show beyond next season, Meloni and Hargitay are guaranteed to be a part of it.
As I reported in early April, talks hit a wall when the actors attempted to go after the show's back-end profits, something that's almost never granted in the L&O universe. A month later, NBC co-chair Marc Graboff told me that SVU would carry on with or without its two leads, adding that "there's an offer on the table."
So, who budged? Neither side is commenting, but indications are that a very happy compromise was forged that sweetens the duo's $385K-per-episode salary. In exchange, both actors agreed to add a second year to their pacts.
Reports are that both are going to receive close to $500,000 an episode.
And it's mean spirited and small of me, but I feel compelled to note this wasn't an Ausiello exclusive. It's all over the entertainment press today. I mean, when it's reported on the local Indianapolis stations, I don't see how it can be an exclusive.
Was anyone surprised they are staying? I'm not. I think demanding (bluffing, IMO) additional monies when you are already over payed per episode to begin with is outrageous, especially considering the economy. Shame on them.
They should have been grateful to have this gig.
Last Edit: Jun 30, 2009 13:33:35 GMT -5 by DonnaJo
I liked this from from David Knox on June 30, 2009 Excerpted: The two actors had been with a mexican standoff with producers for a pay hike, and it had been dragging on for weeks. NBC even called their bluff by renewing the procedural, with or without the two on board.
The Hollywood Reporter indicates both have inked one-year deals with an option for a second year.
Despite studio cost-cutting, Hargitay and Meloni are said to have boosted their most recent salaries of about $385,000 an episode. In a rare feat for performers, they have been able to negotiate a piece of SVU’s lucrative back end, sources said.
If their income tops more than $400,000 an episode, it would leave Mariska Hargitay as the highest-paid woman in television and Meloni as one of the top male earners.
Hargitay and Meloni are reported to regularly negotiate their contracts together -an old actors’ trick. Even as far back as The Beverly Hillbillies actors were showing a united front in studio negotiations. The trick is to hope nobody buckles independently.
Post by outerbankschick on Jun 30, 2009 23:55:08 GMT -5
They were never going anywhere. SVU would be OVER without them. NBC execs knew that. Nice try at a bluff (renewing even though the leads hadn't signed yet), but that's all it was. They'd have given them anything they wanted because they would have ended up with a tanking show otherwise. Hargitay and Meloni both know this.