The stars of Modern Family have closed ranks against the show's producers, in a bid to get their contracts legally voided. Sofia Vergara, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell and Eric Stonestreet have also recently been joined by Ed ONeill. The show's actors will be acutely aware of the amount of revenue that ABC is raking in from advertising, as the show has increased in popularity. Reruns of the show, according to the Los Angeles Times, have been sold to a cable channel for $1.5 million per episode. And now, the stars of the show want to make sure that they're getting a decent proportion of that revenue.
The cast of Modern Family reportedly have another four seasons left in their contract but they have taken the unusual step of trying to get their contract nullified, so that they can re-negotiate a more lucrative deal for their time on the show. Tony Jonas, the former head of Warner Bros Television said "I do not remember lawsuits springing from these situations. Obviously there is a lot of sabre rattling going on." There's also a fair bit of schedule-rattling going on. Tuesday (July 24, 2012) was supposed to be the day that the cast got together for a script reading session. Most of the cast did not show up.
Two people with knowledge of the case (but unable to speak publicly) have suggested that Vergara, Ferguson, Stonestreet, Burrell and Bowen have been offered a raise from $65,000 per episode to $150,000 per episode. It is unclear whether or not the cast will agree to that offer.