"Mother" cast makes more gravy

Fri Jan 9, 2009 3:15am EST
 
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By Nellie Andreeva

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The cast of CBS' hot comedy series "How I Met Your Mother" got something extra for the holidays: salary bumps.

But in a sign of the tough economic times, the five stars didn't hit the mother lode despite the show's solid ratings and strong syndication sales.

After months of renegotiations, Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan recently signed new deals with producing studio 20th Century Fox TV that will bring their salaries up to $90,000-$120,000 per episode.

On average, that's between two and three times what they made before -- a big raise, especially given that Radnor, Segel and Smulders were virtually unknown when the show premiered in 2005. Still, it's lower than the pay for the ensembles of other comedies at similar points in their runs, like NBC's "The Office."

The new pacts, retroactive to the beginning of this season, the show's fourth, also add an extra year to the actors' original seven-year contracts.

The "Mother" salary renegotiations followed lucrative rerun deals that could potentially bring Fox $2.5 million-$3 million per episode in the first cycle. They also come as "Mother" continues to enjoy ratings momentum, which started after the writers strike ended last spring and carried over to this fall.

The lead voice cast on "The Simpsons" are among the highest-paid actors on television after securing raises of about 30 percent to nearly $400,000 per episode last year.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

 
<p>Actors Neil Patrick Harris (L) and Alyson Hannigan of the comedy series "How I Met Your Mother" pose with a People's Choice Award prior to announcing the nominations for the People's Choice Awards at a news conference in Beverly Hills, California, November 7, 2006. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>