The cast of A&E hit show "Duck Dynasty" is now fighting for a pay raise after a record premiere for the show and network.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Robertson family, including brothers Phil and Si along with Phil's sons, are seeking a pay raise of up to $200,000 per episode for a fourth season of the popular show from A&E and the production company of the show Gurney Productions. They are also seeking pay raises every season after the fourth season. The family is being represented by WME.
After the premiere of Season 3 of "Duck Dynasty," the negotiations were in order. The premiere in February debuted to 8.6 million viewers and a 3.9 rating with adults 18 to 49. In that demographic which networks and advertisers pay close attention to, the show was only second to "The Walking Dead" on AMC.
This is not the first time casts of successful television shows try to renegotiate contracts, especially reality shows. The cast of MTV's "Jersey Shore" held up production in 2010 for a pay raise for the cast. They were looking for a 200 percent raise for that third season and beyond. The cast of "Deadliest Catch" quit the show also in 2010 due to a pay dispute and then came back to the show after coming to terms with the network.
"Duck Dynasty" producer Deirdre Gurney spoke about the negotiations at Wednesday's Hollywood Radio & television Society luncheon. Gurney and her husband Scott are behind the creation of the show.
"Look, there are two factors at play," said Gurney of her series' stars current standoff. "One is social media. They want immediate feedback about themselves. The second is promotional appearance, the fees for which will always outweigh their show money."
"When a show is a successful show, it becomes a problem."
A&E has not commented on the negotiations with Robertson family but a source told The Hollywood Reporter that the network does not recoup as much of its investment in its reality shows and casts in relation to networks like Bravo. A&E doesn't own a stake in the Robertson's duck-call business, the family's branding projects, nor do they get any kind of percentage for their speaking engagements which make the family thousands of dollars per appearance.
A source close to the negotiations knows how important the show is for A&E so they are confident.
"It'll all get worked out."
Here are some Twitter reactions about the "Duck Dynasty" crisis.
@cody_seaman: "The big discussion before class: the salary dispute for duck dynasty. It's a sad day in Aggieland after only seeing one episode last night!!
Jared Carpenter- State Senator in Kentucky @JCarpenter: "We came to agreement on Pension Reform. They better do same for #DuckDynasty or me & Cole will be extremely upset!"
Sunni- Radio host at Washington D.C.'s WPGC 95.5 @SunniAndTheCity: "Duck Dynasty cast is requesting $200,000 per episode from A&E! Salary negotiations are delaying Season 4! The4y deserve it!"