Whenever reality TV hires “poor people” the salaries are notorious low until the show meets with success. Vanderpump Rules is no exception, particularly with Lisa Vanderpump as a producer. A show about a bunch of wannabe “mactors” waiting tables in Hollywood is a great concept. But the entire concept falls apart when the mactors get paid big bucks for the show. The first thing they want to do is to move into a better apartment, buy a fancy car and live beyond the means of a mactor waiting tables. This would detract from the premise and keep the wait staff from working at SUR, something LVP did not want to happen. In fact, almost all of them continued to work at SUR until the middle of last season.
A TMZ story today reveals that the SURvers earned a meager $19K per season for their first two seasons. This gave them great exposure, but it also kept them working at SUR. By season three, the cast and their agents began to bargain and win a per episode fee. The same thing happened with early seasons of the housewives. The RHOA were paid $5,000 in total for the first season, they got a small raise for the second season and just like the Vanderpump Rules kids did not get paid per episode until season three, when they made $10,000 per EPISODE. Even then, there were only 18 episodes in season three. Still, they jumped from $5K in the first season to $180K in the third. Contrary to popular belief none of the original housewives had a pot to piss in for the most part, other than Kandi. The SURvers are moving up the pay scale in the same way for season three and four.
Tom Sandoval’s agent had a five year contract with Tom. Tom did not have a five year contract with Bravo as the TMZ story suggests, BIG difference. What happened was, after season two, Tom wanted to dump his agent and hire a new one. Which he did. Unfortunately for Tom, his original five year contract is valid with his original agent. The courts recently found that Tom is liable for that agent’s 10% fee. That agent sued saying he believes Tom is making $15K an episode. I believe that figure is false, and too high but now that Tom has been found liable, he will have to pay the original agent 10% of whatever the new agent negotiated for him. It will could all be public record because Sandoval is going to appeal. I suspect that Bravo will step in and pay the amount owed to the agent with a confidentiality agreement barring him from disclosing the payment, and as a result Tom’s salary. Tom will mysteriously drop the countersuit.
Tom’s current agent has likely already been paid by Tom. On the off chance that Bravo doesn’t squash this (and that is a very small chance) Tom’s salary for all four seasons will become public record. As much as I’d like to know for sure it is what I believe it to be, I doubt we will ever seen that.
And that’s the true tea.