President Obama has called on the citizens of our fair nation to make sacrifices during these troubled economic times. But when he said that, surely he didn’t mean to lump Hollywood’s best and brightest along with the rest of us schlubs, did he? Well, the execs over at CBS Paramount are gambling on the fact that he did. As Entertainment Weekly’s scoopmeister general Michael Ausiello reports, the studio behind the CSI franchise (among others) is asking its top-billed stars to forgo their contracted pay raises this year in order to help them keep their respective productions afloat. But what will they do if the likes of David Caruso and Laurence Fishburne don’t decide to play ball?
Then it’s off with their co-stars’ heads! Well, maybe not their heads, but certainly their salaries. Despite the fact that Les Moonves is telling anyone who will listen how awesome CBS is doing, the studio is looking to cut costs wherever possible. In order to do so, a show runner at a rival network told Ausiello that “The leverage they will use is, ‘Freeze your already ludicrously high salary, or watch a bunch of your co-workers lose their jobs.’” While it’s tough to predict how this is going to go down, there’s one thing we’re certain of: This is going to be the most entertaining game of Chicken we’ve seen since the tractor duel between Kevin Bacon and
Chris Penn Jim Youngs in Footloose.
Exclusive: CBS to its stars – no raise for you! [Ausiello Files/EW]