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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Steve Battaglio Discusses Brad Garrett's Big Deal

Aired August 27, 2003 - 19:43   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Well Garrett had been making a mere $150,000 per year -- per episode, I should say -- obviously he's making a lot more. We're joined by Steven Battaglio from "The New York Daily News" to talk more about stars and their money.
STEVEN BATTAGLIO, "THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": It's a seasonal disease.

COOPER: Apparently so.

BATTAGLIO: Everytime these actors come down with this just before production.

COOPER: Yes, I'm sick today. I can't come in. I'm negotiating, by the way, at the same time. How are they able to do this? I mean, Brad Garrett, on "Everybody Loves Raymond" is certainly making a good deal of money, but I guess, the others were making more.

BATTAGLIO: Well, you have to look at -- well that was a problem, in that, there was a division on the show. You had Ray Ramano, who was also the creator of the show, not only was he making $1.8 million an episode for the season, but he is also shares in the profits made by "Everybody Loves Raymond" sydicated reruns that are sold to TV stations and to cable networks. And that's a tremendous high of money.

COOPER: Once your show has reached like a 100 episodes or so than it can be sold to sydication is that right?

BATTAGLIO: They go out and sell it into sydication and to broadcasters overseas. A hit sitcom, along the lines of "Everybody Loves Raymond" is anywhere from a $500 million to a $1 billion business.

COOPER: Really.

BATTAGLIO: So there was a lot of money generated there. And, you know...

COOPER: And so they all want a piece of that. The back half, I guess...

BATTAGLIO: And that's how they sweeten the pie for the rest of the case, is that the production company and, even Ray Romano himself, gave up a piece of their back end to help the actors be happy.

COOPER: I mean not all stars can -- or not all shows can I guess not all stars and shows can do this kind of, you know, kind of ransom. I guess comedies can, dramas it's harder.

BATTAGLIO: It really is a case by-case situation. Right now there's a dirt of hit situation comedies. Look at "Friends" and 'Everybody Loves Raymond."

COOPER: And, I guess, "Will & Grace"

BATTAGLIO: And "Will & Grace" and then there's a real drop-off in the type of big situation comedies that demand top dollar from advertisers.

These shows are so valuable to the networks because they repeat well, they can lift the ratings on an entire night for NBC, those shows do well on Thursday. Raymond is the linchpin of NBC's -- CBS's monday night.

So these shows -- the stars on these shows have a tremendous amount of leverage and they're not that interchangeable. I mean "Everybody Loves Raymond" is about a family. "Law and Order," if they get tired -- one cop wants a raise he gets reassigned.

COOPER: Even on the "West Wing" Rob Lowe wanted more money per episode.

BATTAGLIO: He wanted more money and also wanted more attention on the show. And, you know...

COOPER: He wanted to be the president.

BATTAGLIO: Exactly. And, you know, I mean that's a tricky situation because you do a show about the White House well they're changing staff all the time. If you want too much money, suddenly the administration decides to go in a different direction.

COOPER: Different direction. And it did go in a different direction. Rob Lowe, I guess it's a success story. He wanted more money. He didn't get it on "West Wing". He left, now he has his own series elsewhere?

BATTAGLIO: I think the network liked him but I think it was a difference, he didn't feel -- when that show was first developed, he thought that he was sort of the lead of the show or at least was going to have a bigger role than he did. The show became more about the president Martin Sheen, than the president's men. He is a popular star and NBC obviously believes it or they wouldn't give him his own show.

COOPER: Well, I guess he made the right move I guess. Steve Battaglio, thanks for joining us.

BATTAGLIO: Good to see you.

COOPER: All right.

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