Stars up ante at 'Nip/Tuck'

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Production begins today on the sixth and final season of FX's "Nip/Tuck." As the show's actors get back to work, their representatives are deep in salary renegotiations.

Talks for stars Julian McMahon and Dylan Walsh and regulars Joely Richardson, Kelly Carlson and Roma Maffia have been ongoing for weeks.

Heading into production on Season 5 in summer 2007, McMahon and Walsh saw their compensation upped to about $125,000 an episode, with Richardson close behind at about $100,000. This year, McMahon and Walsh reportedly are seeking to double their salaries, and the other cast members also are seeking big raises.

Because all of the show's actors are under contract with "Nip/ Tuck" producer Warner Bros. TV, talks have been held primarily with FX, which funded last year's cast paycheck bumps in the form of cash bonuses. A similar arrangement is expected this year, but the sides remain apart on money terms — though an agreement could be reached this week.

To help with negotiations, McMahon and Walsh have added to their team seasoned litigator Marty Singer, who repped "The Sopranos" star James Gandolfini in his 2003 renegotiations-related lawsuit against HBO and also repped supporting "Sopranos" players in their pursuit of paycheck increases for the show's final episodes.

Reps for McMahon (WMA, Will Ward, Jake Bloom) and Walsh (Gersh, Bob McGowan, Rick Genow) declined comment. (partialdiff)
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