RIP Sherman Hemsley, and a Great Excuse to Use a Pic of Sofia Vergara

Arggghhhhh!!! My attenion has been diverted elsewhere today, so I can only do a pretty quick blog. Sorry. I’ll make it up to everyone, soon. 


There are only a handful of actors you can put into any role and say, “Be yourself” and the director really means it, because that’s all they’re looking for. At the top of that list for years had to be Sherman Hemsley. The first thing that comes to your mind is The Jeffersons, yeah. But do you realize he made guest appearances on about four dozen other sitcoms? And in every single one of them he was some form of George Jefferson. He even was George Jefferson on a bunch. When most actors would spend their lives running from a role like George Jefferson, Hemsley completely embraced it — and got paid doing it. And Amen made it five seasons. Five! It still runs in syndication. All because Sherman Hemsley was one of the best curmudgeons we’ve ever seen on TV. Richard Belzer always says that his Det. John Munch has appeared on more shows than any other character — but what about George Jefferson? If Munch didn’t get to count all of his different Law and Order shows, George Jefferson would win.

what, she's part of the suit! it's valid!

A couple months ago, we figured out just how much a show like Modern Family is worth. Bottom line: It’s really effing valuable. Now we’re in a contract impasse between the studio and the actors (of course we are!) because if I can figure out just how valuable a TV show is, you can bet the people actually on the show know how much it’s worth. And their agents? Yeah, they know. So if the studio really is offering $150,000 per episode for five of the six adults on the show (Ed O’Neill is negotiating by himself), and the actors want $200,000 what are we talking about here? At 22 episodes for the next six seasons, the studio would pay out an extra $6.6 million. Sounds like a lot, but in the scheme of things, for a show as valuable as Modern Family, is it really that big a deal? Let’s ask Rashida Jones: “Pay them. In the scheme of things, it’s a speeding ticket.” Especially since you can lock them up through season 9 which would mean about $200 million in syndication rights alone. Get it done, get on with your lives.

All those who think all will be well at Community without creator and showrunner Dan Harmon and most of his writing staff, take one big step forward. What, no one? Wait, is that because you’re not cool and you don’t watch Community, or is it because you don’t think the show will be OK? Never mind, let’s just say it ain’t happening, no matter what the NBC bigwigs say. The cast will show up, collect its paychecks for another year, and make sure their agents are lining them up for a show in 2013-14. That’s not exactly the most creative atmosphere.

Someone with more time than me would be able to look at this top 100 most valuable stars list, digest it and then discuss it. For today, all I can say is that we’re at a really sad point if Shia LaBeouf can crack the top 20. He’s about to lose his golden Transformers goose and after that, I’m convinced he’ll be lucky to get guest star spots on webisodes of 30 Rock. I’ll try to hit up the rest another day.

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