In light of the BIG BANG THEORY actors recently holding out for bigger salaries, I’ve had a number of you ask my opinion on stars on strike. So consider this four Friday Questions on Tuesday.
Hollywood is not about earning what you deserve. Hollywood is about leverage.
Most shows fail. By most, I mean over 90% (and I’m being generous). Big hits come along as often as winning lottery tickets.
But when one of these shows becomes a mega hit the profits are in the billions. That’s billions with a B. Warner Brothers make more money off FRIENDS than Batman.
So if you’re an actor during contract renegotiation on one of these rare cash cows you hold most of the cards. I see no reason in not trying to make the best deal you can. Lots of others associated with the show are already feasting off that bovine.
But you need that leverage. The problem when THE SIMPSONS actors tried this is that only their voices are heard. They are much easier to replace than Jim Parsons.
How important you are to the show determines how much leverage you have. Could THE BIG BANG THEORY live without Howard or even Penny? Sure. Could it live without Sheldon? Probably not. But even then – TWO AND A HALF MEN survived without Charlie Sheen. It can be done. At some point the actors’ demands have to be within the realm of reasonable.
These things usually have a way of working themselves out. It did over the weekend for THE BIG BANG THEORY. Parsons, Johnny Galecki, and Kaley Cuoco will each be getting about a million dollars an episode plus vigorish. Yes, that’s a staggering sum but there are major league ballplayers making way more than that hitting .241.
This thespian work stoppage is certainly not a new practice. A few years ago the MODERN FAMILY held out together, and before that – FRIENDS. Someone had an interesting idea during the six-actor FRIENDS stand-off. He suggested the studio offer a very large very generous number per episode but will only pay it to the first five actors who accept the terms. Don’t know if it would have worked but I found it a ploy worthy of Frank Underwood.
So in short, congratulations to the BIG BANG THEORY cast. Now go out and hit .348 and sock 40 home runs.