The expected protracted negotiations over re-writing contracts between seasons of 'Modern Family' has taken on a rather bitter twist, with members of the hit Fox Television series now apparently ready to take their bosses to court in order to void their current contracts. The Hollywood Reporter is claiming that the Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara are a filing a suit in Los Angeles Superior Court alleging that their contracts with the network violate California's "7 year rule" that prohibits personal services contracts for longer than that period of time. It is reportedly a common tactic used by actors who want to void contracts during renegotiations for increased compensation.
In addition, Ed ONeill, who is paid more than his co-stars, has also sought to join the suit, and it will now be re-written to include his name; this despite the fact that O'Neill deals with the studios separately; his move is believe to be out of solidarity. The negotiations have been dragging so long that they've delayed the beginning of preparations for the fourth season of 'Modern Family'.
The five cast members are reportedly being offered salary increases of $150,000 per episode plus an additional $50,000 bonus per episode for season four, $200,000 per episode for season five, $225,000 for season six and up to $325,000 for a potential season nine. The cast, however, is asking for much more, they are currently believed to be on around $65,000 per episode, with O'Neill on around $105,000.