NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, December 11, 2015, 6:00 PM
The “Real Housewives Of New Jersey” better be ready to bring some weapons-grade drama to the next season – or risk a pay cut.
Until now, the stars had been paid a lump sum for the whole season.
But [email protected] is told that producers will now only pay them for episodes they appear in.
Sources say the idea is to encourage the ladies to make ratings-grabbing TV, rather than coast and cash their paychecks.
We’re told the show’s longest running stars, Melissa Gorga and the soon-to-be-released-from-prison Teresa Giudice will each be paid $ 50,000 per episode — if they make it in that week.
It’s unclear how much a third Housewife, Jacqueline Laurita will get, but sources agree it is likely to be less because she skipped last season.
“The problem is you could sign a contract for an $ 800,000 salary and then sit back and do nothing,” said a source, “This way, you really have to bring it.”
“Across all the (“Housewives”) series there are people who are more committed and people who are less committed,” said another insider, “People sign up to do it and then lose their enthusiasm.” This new plan is intended to combat that problem by encouraging maximum participation.
We’re told the new system doesn’t necessarily mean a pay cut for the combustible cast. Since the previous six seasons have had an average of 19, a Housewife deemed worthy of screen time in each episode could bag a nearly $ 1 million at the end of the season – that would come close to the salaries of highest-paid Housewives across the whole franchise, like Nene Leakes or Bethenny Frankel.
Some of the “Real Housewives of New York” cast members moved to a per-episode pay plan last season and insiders say the same carrot-and-stick approach may add some zing to other series, like Atlanta and Beverly Hills – so we may see the plan rolled out to other shows when contracts are next negotiated.
Three part-time members of the cast – known as “friends of the Housewives” and heavily tipped to be matchmaker Siggy Flicker and couple Robyn Levy and Christina Flores – are expected to stay on a salary, somewhere around the $ 50,000 mark for the whole season.