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'Modern Family' cast sues to void their contracts




Seven must be an unlucky number for the cast of Modern Family, who are suing 20th Century Fox Television to void their contracts going into the fourth season of their Emmy winning sitcom. Their defense: Their current contracts run through a potential ninth season, and that violates California law stipulating personal services contracts can't be maintained for longer than seven years. Legal hair-spliting is the best kind of hair-splitting.

Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara are using the so-called "7 Year Rule" as the basis to renegotiate their contracts, the Hollywood Reporter says, a common practice for hit shows after their third seasons. Ed O'Neill was initially going to dispute his own claim, since he already makes more than all those young pups, but he has since been amended onto the suit in a show of solidarity.

The gang is looking to make more than their initial contracts stipulated, which THR says was scheduled as "$150,000 per episode plus a $50,000 per episode bonus for season 4; $200,000 per episode for season 5; $225,000 for season 6; and up to $325,000 for an anticipated season 9." They're now looking for way more, including more than double if that show lasts through an eight or ninth season. The quintet made about $65,000 an episode last season, with O'Neill making about $105,000. Hey, the guy was Al Bundy for 11 years. He's earned it. The kids, though, are on their own.

[Photo: Getty Images]


[Last modified: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 4:04pm]


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