$500,000 Per Episode : Mariska Hargitay’s New Contract : Law & Order SVU


Mariska Hargitay Makes New Big Deal For Acting In SVU’s 14th Season

mariska hargitay to earn 500,000 salary

Mariska (pronounced Mar-ish-ka) Hargitay: Actress to earn $500,000 per ep as series regular, star billing...


Actors Never Know W-H-A-T Is Going On Inside Their Producer’s Head (Offices)

Even actors and actresses who are series regulars, who get star-billing-single-card…

This show has been on the air for years now. (Long enough for lead actress Mariska Hargitay to establish her image on the show with short hair, and then even longer to grow her hair all the way to long. Any woman knows that’s a very long time. )

Law And Order : SVU has been through most of it’s successful seasons with two lead actors, Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni. But at the end of Season 12, series lead Meloni was in acting contract negotiations with the showrunners, and the two sides couldn’t come to terms. The NBC and producer powers that run the show (for real) decided not to pay Meloni as much as he felt he deserved, and put on Season 13 without him.

The series explored some new areas, taking risks, with the storyline; when Chris Meloni’s character left more than a void. (Most viewers felt Christopher Meloni was that show, in that incarnation. I’ve never seen anything like that happen before, when such a strong actor whose identity was synonymous with the show itself was let go…any visual picture of L+O : SVU has Chris Meloni as identifying actor of the series.)

Lead Actor, Mariska Hargitay said this, last week… about acting solo lead on Season 13 :

“This new cast came on, and I had no idea what to expect — and we had a new showrunner,” she told reporters Wednesday in Pasadena. “The show this year is awesome and different and has gone into different areas, and I get to play different things; my own story of having a boyfriend after 13 years. … My character has gone on this unbelievable personal journey that is both reflected in her persona life and the storylines.”

See? Actors never know…

Extremely charming Harry Connick Jr, and actor-revered-by-all Andre Braugher, both joined the show this past season. Not exactly lead actor replacements, just some male actor balance. I thought the romantic angle was an interesting choice, and I’ll applaud any stray from convention when TV takes it, because that’s a science experiment in itself. (TV is suffocatingly conventional. To a creativity killing degree.) I also liked that they held onto the female lead, when they could’ve tossed the show. Perhaps, should’ve tossed it, because losing Meloni was an amputation from the show. Let’s get real.

Now, Mariska got a big contract deal, for a lot of money. A lotta lotta money.

Aren’t all you actors going “waaaa-ooww”…? Because I am…

This particular contract, and it’s dreamy acting salary, is due to start during the next season. However, it doesn’t mean there will be a Season 14. Hargitay’s contract only pays that, if there is.

No one knows for sure if there will be: Season 14 for Law And Order SVU. Not the actors, not the audience.

Speaking of the viewing audience… a large of chunk of it left, with Chris Meloni.

Which again, makes my point about how no one knows what goes on in the heads of the producers and network. Here was an actor who was on a successful series with high ratings for 12 seasons. They didn’t want to pay the big male establishing actor what he asked and so let him go, and there went their ratings too.

Then, when the female lead renegotiates, they give her a big money chunk-per-episode for the new season after the worst rated season in the show’s history.

Am I glad that the female actor is making some great bucks, if the show returns?

Yes, of course. (What an anomaly. Make any strides that ya can.)

But, to any actor who says they can’t wait to get a regular acting job so they won’t have to live with so much ‘unknown’ and lack of control…

It doesn’t get much better. You can be on a series and never know what is coming down the pike on the next script, and what you will be doing. You have no idea what the people with the real power, are thinking and are planning. Even when you are successful, as an actor, you are in the dark. Even when you are in all of the photos, it isn’t you who has the controls.

And, even when you think you understand The Business and how it works, this kind of thing comes along.

I’m glad for her though. [*yelling*] I’m glad for you, Marissshhhkaaa Hargitay! You held on and you held on strong. And it ain’t bad to see the merry-go-round spin and see you get a gift of a brass ring.

Go girl! Kudos!






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