"It's going to be a long process, but we're confident it will work out."
So says an ABC insider of the negotiations currently under way with the cast of Modern Family, who have banded together to ask for a hefty season-four raise. So how much do they want? Is this famous Family asking for Friends-type money?
Nope! While the Friends cast famously got $1 million per episode for their final season, the Modern Family stars are asking for something in the neighborhood of $200,000 per episode, our sources confirm.
"They realize there's strength in numbers and it's the best way to go about it," a source familiar with the negotiations tells us, adding that the increase will likely come out of ABC's budget and not the studio's, 20th Century Fox.
Sources confirm that all of Modern Family 's adult castmembers currently make less than $100,00 per episode, with the exception of veteran TV actor Ed O'Neill (who, ironically, was famously the only castmember snubbed individually at the Emmys in the show's first year).
It is common for TV casts of popular shows to renegotiate new deals going into the fourth season. And Modern Family, with all of its ratings and awards glory, is in a good position, given the revenue it generates for ABC. (And the prospects of syndication, which seems a given with a popular mainstream comedy like this.)
ABC is also considering sending the cast to Colombia next season to shoot a storyline in which we will meet Gloria's (Vergara) family, which could cost a pretty penny.
The news of the negotiations was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.