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TV Deals Squeeze Residuals

TV studios and broadcast networks are demanding new talent concessions to trim off-the-top costs like residuals. The test deals, which set the terms of employment for both the pilot and series, are tough for talent reps to negotiate because they must be signed before an actor auditions -- when he or she has little leverage to extract concessions.

Several studios now are including non-negotiable language allowing residuals for a first prime-time rerun to be considered a "prepayment" of a regular's series compensation. For example, an actor who makes $30,000 an episode as a regular on a broadcast series usually might make $2,500-$3,500 more when that episode is rerun the first time. Under several new test deals, the residual already would be included in the salary. Guild sources confirm that under collective bargaining agreements, studios have the right to defer up to 35% of an actor's minimum compensation as prepayment for future foreign residuals if the actor is making more than guild minimums.

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Read the whole story at The Hollywood Reporter »

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