ABC TV bumps up 'Grey' pay
Empty"Grey's Anatomy" star Ellen Pompeo has closed a new deal for her services on the hit ABC/ABC TV Studio medical drama.
Original cast members James T. Pickens Jr. and Chandra Wilson also have agreed to new contracts, with Justin Chambers and T.R. Knight close to new pacts to continue on the Golden Globe-winning series.
Under the new deals, all actors will receive salary bumps. Pompeo now will be at nearly $200,000 per episode, while Pickens, Wilson, Chambers and Knight will be paid in the neighborhood of $125,000 per episode, sources said.
It is understood that the new terms are retroactive, going back to the first episode of this season.
ABC TV Studio and reps for the actors declined comment Thursday.
Yet to close new deals are Patrick Dempsey, Sandra Oh and Katherine Heigl. Details on Heigl's stalled contract renegotiations were leaked to the media late last month, which triggered a statement on the matter from ABC TV Studio.
"Fortunately, we have a long-term contract to ensure she'll be with the show for several years to come," the statement said. "In recognition of her tremendous talent and value to the show, we recently approached Katherine with an offer to raise her compensation significantly above the terms of her current contract."
All cast members on "Grey" are under long-term (reportedly seven-year) deals with the studio. It has become customary for the original casts of hit shows to renegotiate their contracts and receive raises after two seasons. Since "Grey" debuted as a midseason replacement in March 2005, the renegotiations were held now when the show marks two full seasons on the air as opposed to the more common between-seasons period in the summer and fall.
Sources said some of the supporting players headed into the renegotiation process as a group that quickly dissolved, leading to individual contract talks between each cast member and the studio.
The contract status for "Grey" co-star Isaiah Washington is not clear. It has been rumored that he might continue on the show without a raise in light of the recent controversy surrounding his use of a homophobic slur, but his communication with the studio has been kept under wraps.
Meanwhile, Kate Walsh, who joined the cast of "Grey" at the end of Season 1, also has a new deal as part of her central role in the potential spinoff from the hit series, now in the works.
The cast of "Grey" recently won a SAG Award for best drama series ensemble, with Wilson winning the individual statuette for best drama series actress.
Pompeo, a Golden Globe nominee for her role on the show as Meredith Grey, is repped by CAA, Hufflund/Polone and attorney Steve Warren.
Wilson, an Emmy nominee for her role as Miranda Bailey, is repped by Abrams Artists.
Pickens, who plays Richard Webber, is repped by Stone Manners and manager Christopher Wright.
Chambers, who plays Alex Karev, is repped by Gersh and Industry Entertainment.
Knight, who plays George O'Malley, is repped by Gersh.