For a lot of people who watched the Emmys on Sunday night, the biggest upset of the show was also the biggest disappointment: despite tough competition from series like Veep and Orange is the New Black, Modern Family went on to win its fifth consecutive Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series. Although no one should've been too surprised — in addition to its awards history, Family is a safe choice and a ratings juggernaut — many were hoping to see one of its sharper, more original competitors take home the trophy instead.
But, of course, this is the Emmys, and TV's biggest awards show has never been known for its unpredictability. And, to be fair, Family isn't totally undeserving; while Orange or Veep or Louie may have been more inspired choices, the ABC comedy is still hugely entertaining, five seasons in. Sure, there might've been no need for yet another Emmy win after the four it already had, but it'd be unfair to say that Family didn't earn the honor it received.
And I certainly don't fault its cast for celebrating. Their "oh my god, it's really us?!" surprise faces may have looked old, but I doubt that any of them truly thought Emmy voters were going to hand them a fifth victory — even Family's stars surely know that by this point, everyone is tired of their non-stop success. Judging by their tweets, Instagrams, and after-party photos, the show's cast had a grand old time celebrating their "shocking" win — and I'm sure going home to their massive paychecks didn't hurt, either. Unsurprisingly, Family's ensemble cast makes a huge amount of money; here's how it all breaks down.
Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, and Sofia Vergara
Season 1 of Family saw five of the show's adult actors receive per-episode salaries ranging from $30,000 to $60,000. In 2012, three seasons in, the quintet banded together to renegotiate their paychecks (then around $55,000-$65,000 per episode), but ABC wasn't on board; talks got so heated that the production of the show's fourth season had to be postponed. It got bad enough that the group sued 20th Century Fox, demanding raises of up to $200,000 per episode and arguing that their current contracts were void because of a "seven-year rule" in the California Labor Code.
In July 2012, they came to an agreement; instead of their proposed $200,000 paychecks, the five actors received a pay bump to $150,000 per episode, plus $20,000+ bonuses and a cut of back end profits. And, with each new season, their salaries would increase, so expect that today, they're making closer to $200,000-$250,000 per episode. By the eighth season, which would premiere in 2016, their salaries are expected to be about $350,000 per episode each.
As a TV veteran and the biggest name of the show, O'Neill entered Family with a higher salary than his co-stars, receiving $95,000 per episode, plus a back end stake in the series. When the rest of the cast was fighting for raises in 2012, O'Neill stayed out of the lawsuit but joined in to the talks. When the decision was reached, he agreed to cut his salary (then $200,000) to match his co-stars, but receive a larger share of the back-end profits.
Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter, Nolan Gould, and Rico Rodriguez
The same summer as their adult co-stars, the kids of Modern Family negotiated pay increases, too, albeit in smaller amounts; together, they received $75,000 per episode, up from the $15,000-$25,000 they were making (Hyland, the oldest of the four, was making slightly more than her co-stars). In addition, they were each promised a $10,000 per season raise, so by now, they're all receiving close to $100,000 an episode.
The youngest member of the Family, Anderson-Emmons didn't receive a pay increase in 2012 like her co-stars, despite her agents' wishes. Her salary is unknown, but it's safe to assume that even without the bump, the actress behind the most annoying kid on TV is doing just fine. And if not? Well, I'm sure her adult co-stars would be more than happy to help her out.
Images: ABC (4)