Absolutely first and foremost, I’d like to take a second to recognize the death of Mr. Marvin Hamlisch earlier this week. A million years ago, when I was barely able to drink (legally), he got on the phone to give an intern at a tiny newspaper in the middle of nowhere an interview that would lead to that stupid little intern’s first actual, professional newspaper feature. He literally could not have been nicer, more understanding or forthcoming throughout all of those 30-plus minutes we spent talking (and trust me — having now had a whole bunch of those type of encounters under my belt years later, such is not always the case when dealing with “stars, darling, stars!“). His passing should not go unnoticed — the guy won every single award in the history of mankind and for about a few decades, you couldn’t stumble into a movie theater without hearing something he wrote. For as long as I am lucky enough to be able to do what I do for a living, I’ll never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever forget that experience and the subsequent concert he left me tickets for the next night. In my admittedly limited interactions with him, he was nothing short of a class act in every sense of the phrase. Rest in peace, sir. There will always be at least one stupid former newspaper intern that will never let your legacy go forgotten. And now back to our show …
Somebody once said that the answer to all your problems is money. And that someday was right.
TV Guide released its list of television’s highest paid stars on Wednesday and leave it to the fantastically fantastic Lisa De Moraes to write a few tiny paragraphs breaking down the list. From the Washington Post …
“But Crystal the Monkey, who steals every scene in NBC’s new comedy series ‘Animal Practice’ and who will soon be known as The Monkey Who Saved NBC, makes just $12,000 per episode,”she wrote. “Which, of course, she has to split with her handler. Even so, ‘Animal Practice’ writers tweeted Thursday that the TV Guide list ‘has created a lot of uncomfortable tension between the crew & one member of our cast….Thanks, @TVGuideMazagine.'”
Ahh, yes. Monkeys causing controversy — what more could you want?
Interestingly enough, the actual TV Guide post breaks down the salary disparity and the reasons that some big screen players have turned up on our small screens (or, in this blog’s case, computer screens) in recent years. Have a look …
“Premium cable networks such as HBO and Showtime can go higher with series that produce only 13 episodes a year,” Stephen Battagilo and Michael Schneider wrote. “But newcomers to shows with ensemble casts earn around $30,000 or less per episode. Established mid-level actors are seeing lower rates as well. ‘The third role down, there are no qualms in sending out offers that are way below an actor’s price quotes,’ one agent notes. ‘The actor who made $75,000 a couple of years ago is now being offered $50,000 or $60,000.’ The television industry can thank the feature-film business for creating the current buyers’ market. Movie studios are now driven by big-budget action thrillers that play well internationally, leaving little work for actors who made their living in genre movies, romantic comedies and family films.”
So that’s why “The Big C” still exists! It all makes sense now.
Anyway, you can find the list’s highlights if you click on over to TV Guide‘s website, and I will note with caution now before you do so — once you see that Judge Judy makes $45 million a year, you can’t un-see it. Trust me. I’ve tried. For those of you who still enjoy paper, the magazine hit stores yesterday.
As for me, I’ll be back in a couple weeks. It’s time for a tiny vacation, friends, and while I won’t be lucky enough to ham it up with the fabulous Kermit Ruffins in the middle of New Orleans this time, I will indeed be contracting sun poisoning and wandering my way through what promises to be a miserable week. OK. So, none of that sounded like a vacation. But either way, I will see you — yes, you! — back here in a week or two. Be good, now. I will miss you far more than blogs can express. Promise.