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Angela Bassett’s Record-Setting Payday for 911


According news outlet Deadline, Oscar-nominated actor Angela Bassett has reportedly negotiated herself a historic new salary that will have her making “north of $450,000 an episode” on season five of the Fox drama  9-1-1. According to the outlet, the legendary actresses’ salary is “among the top salaries on network television for any actor…and could be the highest ever for an actress of color on a broadcast drama series.”

Bassett is being compensated for her onscreen work and off screen role as executive producer on both 9-1-1 and its spin-off, 9-1-1: Lone Star. 

After receiving consistently solid ratings, Fox’s smash hit 9-1-1 is returning for a fifth season. The cast has reportedly negotiated higher salaries for their return, with Bassett’s ranking as one of the highest for an actress of color in a network drama.

Many are happy to hear of her Basset’s record breaking new salary, but the news raises questions about why it’s taken so long for a Black actress on television to be paid this much.

It is reported that Bassett will be out-earning other TV drama actresses of color, including Scandal’s Kerry Washington and How to Get Away with Murder’s Viola Davis. According to TVLine, Washington made $80,000 per episode at the start of that show’s run and earned $250,000 per episode by its finale. Oscar winner Davis reportedly received $250,000 per episode for HTGAWM’s first two seasons and roughly $450,000 by the show’s end. 

Higher per-episode paydays have been received by others including Sofia Vergara, who earned a reported $500,000 an episode of Modern Family by the end of that show’s run. The Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco, reportedly received $900,000 per episode  during her sitcom’s final seasons. Ellen Pompeo is said to earn $575,000 an episode for Grey’s Anatomy, while costar, Chandra Wilson, likely makes around $375,000, as reported by TVLine.

Other 911 actors and their salaries include Peter Krause, who received a a 25% increase and is believed to be earning $300,000 per episode. Jennifer Love Hewitt’s salary was not disclosed, but she will now receive third billing on the show. Cast members Aisha Hinds, Rockmond Dunbar, Kenneth Choi, Oliver Stark, and Ryan Guzman in their roles as first responders in Los Angeles, exploring its high-pressure experiences, are believed to have received 25% raises, making about $80,000 per episode each.

(Reps for Fox and the actors declined comment to Deadline.)

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