The 2012 fall TV season is just around the corner, with most shows starting production on new episodes. Today, we have word that the hit ABC sitcom Modern Family may be facing a production delay, with five cast members filing a lawsuit against 20th Century Fox Television, the studio that produces the Emmy-winning comedy.
ABC was forced to cancel the first table read of the season earlier today, after speculation rose that several actors were not showing up, due to salary negotiations with the studio. Shortly after the table read was cancelled, cast members Eric Stonestreet, Sofía Vergara, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Julie Bowen, and Ty Burrell, five of the six main adult cast members, filed a lawsuit against Fox Television, seeking to void their original contracts and re-up for a bigger payday.
The lawsuit alleges that their current contracts violate the "seven-year rule" of the California State Labor Code, which states that that contracts, "may not be enforced beyond seven years from the commencement of service under it." While the show is entering its fourth season, the cast members claim their employment has passed seven years, going back to their talent deals before filming of the pilot episode.
The actors are currently making $60,000 each episode, although it is rumored they are seeking a $200,000 per-episode payout. Ed O'Neill, who is not currently a part of the lawsuit, has had a higher salary from the start, pulling in $100,000 per episode. Production hasn't halted quite yet, although it seems 20th Century Fox Television will need to resolve this quickly so filming can begin on Season 4. The series has won the Emmy for Best Comedy Series for the past two years in a row, and is nominated again this year.
You can CLICK HERE to read the full lawsuit.