TV Article

A Gay Old Time

NBC renews ''Will & Grace'' for two more years. The four stars are in line for big pay raises

TV's campiest foursome may never get their romantic lives, um, straightened out, but Will, Grace, Jack, and Karen will have at least two more years to try. And they'll all strike it rich -- or at least the actors who play them will. According to the Hollywood Reporter, NBC is about to renew ''Will & Grace'' through the end of the 2004-05 season, which will be the show's seventh. Plus, the deal could make the four stars some of the highest-paid actors on TV.

According to the Reporter, the deal will retroactively boost the salaries of leads Debra Messing and Eric McCormack to $250,000-$275,000 per episode for the current season, with salaries for supporting actors Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally following close behind. By the end of the seventh season, Messing and McCormack will be earning about $400,000 per show, with Hayes and Mullally earning nearly as much, according to the Reporter. That's not ''Friends'' money (those six actors earn $1 million per episode), but by 2005, ''Friends'' will be off the air, and so, probably, will be other sitcoms with higher-earning stars, like ''Frasier'' and ''Everybody Loves Raymond.'' Also, the ''Will & Grace'' quartet reportedly have a stake in the profits from syndication, which began this fall after just three seasons. Now all the cast needs is an Emmy for Messing; she's the only one of the four who hasn't won one yet.

Originally posted Apr 16, 2003
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