The Real Housewives of New Jersey are reportedly unhappy with their contracts and are threatening to pull a page from the Jersey Shore’s playbook. They’re going on strike Sept. 3 when season three is set to start filming if they can’t renegotiate new contracts with higher salaries.
Trust us, we’re just as worried as you guys are. That’s why we did some digging to find out whether we could be losing some of television’s most enjoyable programming in the next couple of months.
Housewife Teresa Giudice wants to double her salary from the reported $3,000 that she makes per episode. “She would like to be paid more equivalent to what the Jersey Shore kids are getting,” a source told TMZ.com. “If she’s not treated better by Bravo, she’s ready to walk away.” Several other cast members are reported to be ready to walk out with Giudice.
Meanwhile, the Real Housewives of New York don’t want to make the same as the New Jersey ladies. They think they deserve more (by virtue of living across the river?) and they are willing to hold out too, according to the New York Post!
But Bravo, the network that airs the Housewives franchise might not be as quick to give in as MTV was with the Jersey Shore cast members, who are now said to be making as much as $30,000 per episode.
One insider close to the situation tells us that some of the network folks believe the Housewives are expendable.
“They are reality television stars, not actors or actresses. New women can be chosen, the shows can start from scratch, they probably won’t lose a huge part of their viewership if they just introduce new characters that they don’t have to pay top dollar for,” our source said early in the day on Sept. 1.
But that is where the network could shoot itself in the foot, insiders say.
One entertainment industry insider points out that one of the reasons the networks got so excited about reality shows is that they were cheaper to produce. What they didn’t forsee is these people would gain the audiences love and loyalty and with those two things, the ratings.
The Real Housewives reunion that aired this week had almost 4 million viewers, and show’s season finale had 3.4 million viewers.
This show is going into its third seasons with this cast. These women have become America’s friends (or at the very least frenemies) and people may be more loyal than Bravo thinks.The network needs to tread carefully in these negotiations.
But maybe they know it. We talked to another industry insider with knowledge of the negotiations by the end of business on Sept. 1 and they told us Bravo could be preparing to negotiate with the cast.
“Sure they could build a new show, but that will cost them a lot more than the salary increase. The real issue is they don’t want to create a monetary precedent where all housewives from all franchises can start asking for big money. It’s a slippery slope,” our source told us.