Despite Sunday's premiere of The Real Housewives of New Jersey being a "record low," the ladies of the Garden State are still getting paid. According to reports, some of the RHONJ cast members are getting up to $250,000 for airing their meatball-stained drama on television. A source says Dina Manzo is getting $100,000 this season, with the option for a bump if she returns next season; Melissa Gorga is getting $250,00 (what?!); and newcomers Amber Marchese, Nicole Napolitano, and Teresa Aprea are all getting $60,000, which, in case you didn't know, is more than most people make in America each year. USA, USA, USA...
And if your jaw still isn't resting comfortably on the floor, Bravo will do you one better: the salary of the RHONJ ladies is HALF that of the cast of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Yes, that's $500,000 a season. Excuse me while I vomit. And then go plan a move to Beverly Hills.
It's fairly surprising, to me at least, that the cast of New Jersey are paid so much less than their west coast counterparts. The women on RHONJ, though grating and caricature-like, are playing out their real-life drama on the show, and it isn't the typical run-of-the-mill fare. Two people might be going to jail for a really long time and they're filming every moment up to it. It's kind of gross to reward people for acting in such a disgusting manner, but it has to be worth something, right? Presumably more than grown women who simply bicker and make racist remarks?
It's always a surprise learning what the cast of the Real Housewives franchise makes — and it always seems like it's more than it should be, being that they really don't do anything. I'd suggest boycotting the shows for a bit to see if that will get producers to somehow pay them less, but being that RHONJ ratings were crap and the girls are still raking it in, seems highly unlikely.
Also, who are we kidding? None of us have enough will power to do that.