3:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Netflix's 'On My Block' Stars Score Sizable Pay Raises (Exclusive)
The stars of the Netflix breakout comedy On My Block have secured sizable salary increases for season three.
Following a month of renegotiations with the streamer, the critically praised comedy's four original leads — Sierra Capri, Jason Genao, Brett Gray and Diego Tinoco — plus a fifth star — Jessica Marie Garcia — have signed new deals and are already in rehearsals for season three ahead of this week's first table read of the new cycle.
Sources say Capri, Genao, Gray and Tinoco all negotiated together, with Netflix adding in Garcia to the mix. The four leads will see their $20,000 per-episode fee that they earned for the first two seasons jump to $65,000 per episode for season three. That deal was made for a 10-episode season. Since season three consists of eight episodes, that brings them to $81,250 per episode. The deal also includes a bump from $650,000 to $850,000 for a potential fourth season and $1.05 million for a potential fifth.
As part of the renegotiations, Netflix added co-star Garcia — who was promoted to series regular in season two after recurring in its freshman run — to the mix. She, too, will be part of the same salary structure as the show's four original leads.
Production is expected to begin in mid-August.
Netflix declined comment.
The four stars had been seeking $1.75 million for the entire eight-episode season — or $218,000 per episode. That would have been more than the collective $200,000 the four earned for each of the first two 10-episode seasons. (Season three's episode order was trimmed to eight based on the creative.)
At their former rate, the cast would have been paid $40,000 less if their salaries had remained the same. Sources say Netflix was inflexible at first about the salary increases as On My Block is part of a division that focuses on low-budget programming. The series has a firm $2 million per-episode budget. The streamer originally countered with a boost from $20,000 per episode to $30,000 — with Garcia, who didn't ask for a raise, added to the mix — and then $40,000 per installment before jumping to the current deal. Sources note the new salaries guarantee a minimum of eight episodes per season (if not more).
Still, while the cast is happy with the new deals, they are far short of what the supporting cast of 13 Reasons Why are earning for the upcoming third season (and beyond). The On My Block leads had been looking for an offer comparable with the supporting cast of the YA drama, which is considered a bigger show both domestically and internationally, sources say. While Netflix, like other streamers, does not release viewership information, vp content Cindy Holland told reporters at TCA last summer that 13 Reasons Why is "one of [the streamer's] most popular shows."
The 13 Reasons Why stars all successfully renegotiated their deals last August, ahead of season three. Dylan Minnette — who, following Katherine Langford's departure, is now the teen drama's lead — was bumped from $80,000 per episode to $200,000. Co-stars Brandon Flynn, Alisha Boe, Justin Prentice, Christian Navarro, Miles Heizer, Devin Druid and Ross Butler each cashed in with raises from $20,000 to $60,000 to $135,000 per episode (with a bump to $150,000 per episode should 13 Reasons Why score a fourth season).
The 13 Reasons Why salaries also pale in comparison to the paychecks of the young stars of Netflix's hit Stranger Things. Child actors Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin and Noah Schnapp scored raises estimated at 12 times their base salaries and now collect $250,000 per episode. Stars Winona Ryder and David Harbour earn $350,000 per hour. Breakout Millie Bobby Brown may earn on par with Ryder and Harbour.
It is standard practice for the cast of a breakout series to seek salary bumps after season two. The 13 Reasons Why stars were emboldened to seek raises after learning of the rich new Stranger Things cast deals. It's also worth noting that 13 Reasons Why produces 13 episodes per season, compared to eight for Stranger Things. Representatives for the On My Block stars are not expecting Stranger Things money, but are seeking raises comparable to those of the supporting cast of 13 Reasons Why.
Holland told The Hollywood Reporter in an April interview about the On My Block season-three renewal that the comedy from co-creators Lauren Iungerich, Eddie Gonzalez and Jeremy Haft "did pretty well in its first season, but it's actually increased its following quite well in season two, and people have fallen in love with the characters and that cast."
What's more, On My Block season one topped 13 Reasons Why season two on the streamer's list of its most-binged original series of 2018.
"Viewership grew pretty steadily from the launch of season one, and then we saw a big bump in new viewers coming in and discovering the show in season two, as well as people who loved it before coming back for season two," Holland told THR. "You could also see it in the social following of some of the cast, who have gotten up to a million or more followers, which is pretty sizable considering they were completely unknown a couple of years ago."
Capri, Genao, Gray and Tinoco — the four central stars of the coming-of-age comedy set in an inner-city Los Angeles neighborhood — each have nearly 2 million followers on Twitter and Instagram combined. It's also worth noting that On My Block boasts 97 percent and 96 percent ratings among critics and viewers, respectively, on RottenTomatoes.com.
Meanwhile, 13 Reasons Why has a 52 percent rating among critics and 70 percent rating among viewers. On the social media side, Butler (Riverdale) has north of 8 million combined Twitter and Instagram followers; Minnette and Flynn have nearly 6 million; Boe, Navarro and Parenthood grad Heizer have around 4 million; Prentice around 1.6 million; and Druid about 1.3 million.
Capri is repped by UTA and Brave Artists Management; Genao is with Innovative, Smith Talent Group and Jackoway Austen; Gray is repped by APA and Brave; and Tinoco is with Paradigm, Impact Artists Group and Jackoway Austen. Garcia is repped by Abrams Artists Agency and Cohesive Entertainment Group.