The New York Daily News reported on December 11, 2015 that the ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ has a “new deal” where the cast “only gets paid if they get air time” by “making ratings-grabbing TV.”
The “Real Housewives Of New Jersey” better be ready to bring some weapons-grade drama to the next season — or risk a pay cut.
Until now, the stars had been paid a lump sum for the whole season. But Confidenti@l is told that producers will now only pay them for episodes they appear in.
Sources say the idea is to encourage the ladies to make ratings-grabbing TV, rather than coast and cash their paychecks.
We’re told the show’s longest running stars, Melissa Gorga and the soon-to-be-released-from-prison Teresa Giudice, will each be paid $50,000 per episode — if they make it in that week.
It’s unclear how much a third Housewife, Jacqueline Laurita, will get, but sources agree it is likely to be less because she skipped last season.
“The problem is you could sign a contract for an $800,000 salary and then sit back and do nothing,” said a source, “This way, you really have to bring it.”
“Across all the (“Housewives”) series there are people who are more committed and people who are less committed,” said another insider. “People sign up to do it and then lose their enthusiasm.”
This new plan is intended to combat that problem by encouraging maximum participation.
We’re told the new system doesn’t necessarily mean a pay cut for the combustible cast. Since the previous six seasons have had an average of 19 episodes, a Housewife deemed worthy of screen time in each episode could bag nearly $1 million at the end of the season — that would come close to the salaries of highest-paid Housewives across the whole franchise, like Nene Leakes and Bethenny Frankel.
Some of the “Real Housewives of New York” cast members moved to a per-episode pay plan last season and insiders say the same carrot-and-stick approach may add some zing to other series, like Atlanta and Beverly Hills — so we may see the plan rolled out to other shows when contracts are next negotiated.
Three part-time members of the cast — known as “friends of the Housewives” and heavily tipped to be matchmaker Siggy Flicker and couple Robyn Levy and Christina Flores — are expected to stay on a salary, somewhere around the $50,000 mark for the whole season.
Jim Marchese Explains RHONJ Production Tricks; Court Document Proves ‘Real Housewives’ Producers and Cast Stage Scenes; Simon Barney Told the Court His Children Experience Social Ridicule Because of the Series
UPDATE 9/1/2014: The video above was published on September 1, 2014 by AfterBuzz TV’s YouTube channel:
AFTERBUZZ TV – Real Housewives of New Jersey edition is a weekly “after show” for fans of Bravo’s Real Housewives of New Jersey. In this episode hosts Megan Stecher and Grant Rutter interview Amber’s husband Jim Marchese. The Real Housewives of New Jersey is an American reality television series that debuted on May 12, 2009, and airs on Bravo. It is the network’s fourth installation of The Real Housewives franchise. The Real Housewives of New Jersey chronicles the lives of five women in and around several communities in northern New Jersey. The current cast is composed of: Teresa Giudice, Melissa Gorga, Dina Manzo, Amber Marchese, Nicole Napolitano and Teresa Aprea.
On December 13, 2013, RadarOnline reported on an e-mail (see image below) proving that producers stage scenes on Bravo’s Real Housewives series – the document was presented as evidence during RHOC Tamra Barney’s court bid to overturn her ex-husband Simon’s ban on their three children appearing on the show. After Brandi Glanville joined the cast of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, her ex Eddie Cibrian went to court, requesting that their kids not be allowed on the show; the judge granted him his wish. It has also been alleged that Dina Manzo forged her ex-husband’s signature on documents that granted permission for their daughter Lexi to appear on season 1 of The Real Housewives of New Jersey.
On December 16, 2013, RadarOnline reported that Simon Barney told a California judge that the pair’s three children should not be allowed to appear on the show because they have suffered “consistent embarrassment” due to their mother’s behavior. In a a declaration filed on December 13th, Simon said the couple’s eldest children — Sidney, 15, and Spencer, 13 — had experienced “social ridicule” after scenes were aired depicting their mom’s “head in naked strippers crotches, along with sex toys and an array of inappropriate sexual comments.
In his filing, Simon wrote:
“They have been targeted and are the subject of consistent embarrassment due to the content of the show and their mother’s involvement… The show (has) started to become increasingly more about the alcohol, intoxication, sex and bad behavior… The truth is consistently manipulated in the show in order to make the story line more dramatic and to boost ratings… She is seeking to take away my right to parent and make decisions regarding the lasting effects and impacts the show may have on my children.”
In her filing, Tamra protested that their daughter Sophia, 8 , had “expressed a desire to participate with me” in the series and “I wish to provide her that opportunity.”
Tamra also wrote:
“In fact, if our other children express a desire to participate in the future, I would also provide them with that opportunity.”
But Simon explained that Sophia is “too young” and “unable to make a decision on her own regarding her participation in the show as she does not understand the consequences it may have.”
Simon also wrote:
“Respondent states that Sophia has expressed her desire to be on the show, but that is only because Respondent has told Sophia that she has to sit out on all ‘fun’ activities because I won’t let her be filmed.
“An eight-year-old child is going to want to be a part of the activities if she is told they are ‘fun’ and she is being forced to sit out.”
RadarOnline reported that Simon also responded to Tamra’s claims that he is acting in “bad faith” by not allowing his children to be filmed given he’d previously appeared on the show. In his court filing, Simon wrote:
“Our children appeared on the show from time to time, as one of the focuses on the show was our family and encouraged our familial relationship.
“The show first aired in 2005 and I appeared briefly on the show from 2007 to 2009.
“My children made appearances in those years, but with strict supervision and approval from me.
“If my children were to be on my show, I had stated to the production company… that I was to approve all footage and the children were only to be filmed with my supervision and presence. At that time, they (the production company) agreed.”
According to RadarOnline, Simon also said that after he and Tamra separated in 2010, he chose to no longer appear on the show and constantly rebuffed approaches to rejoin the cast “because I know the negative consequences and the impact it will have on my children’s well being”:
“It was around this time that the show deviated sharply from the family oriented dynamic it had while I was on the show – the major reason I refused to allow the children to continue on the show.
“(The production company) will only air the footage of my minor children if I give my consent or if the Court orders that only Respondent’s consent is required for the children to be filmed.
“I will not sign the consent form for my eight-year-old daughter or my other children to participate on the Shows because I know the negative impact and consequences it will have on their health and well being.”
Tamra has some words for viewers who think that she comes across as a b***h on the Bravo reality TV hit: “I was hired to do a job… I am not on the show to show the viewers what I want to show them… I was given a job and I’m doing it well. Andy Cohen refers to me as ‘the perfect Housewife!’ … I am not here to make friends, and I tell every single one of the girls that. I’m here to do a job. I have Housewives from other franchises calling me and asking me ‘how do you do this?’ or ‘how do you balance this?’ … If I could, I would ask to only show my purse line or request to get my hair done every day, but that’s not ‘reality’. I do have a sarcastic side, and Bravo only shows a certain percentage of you, so if that’s all they show… They don’t see me as a mom. They don’t see a lot of my life. You do see a lot of sarcasm because they love my one-liners.” – RadarOnline, March 6, 2013, Real Mean Girl Of Orange County! Tamra Barney Sinks Claws Into Gretchen Rossi, ‘Have You Heard Her Sing?’
When producers want to start trouble, they usually go to a person who doesn’t mind coming off as a bitch. It is usually someone with a thick skin who really needs the money and can’t just quit. In this case, it is Tamra Barney — she will do whatever the producers ask her to [as will many of the other Housewives in order to keep their ‘jobs’]. – Insider, September 26, 2012, Producer-Driven Scripted Drama and Bravo’s ‘Real Housewives’ Series
TMZ reported that several lawyers and managers in Hollywood have banned together to tell clients to stay clear of ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’. According to TMZ: “The triggers for the boycott are Camille Grammer and Adrienne Maloof. The way the show is structured, cast members can say ANYTHING about anyone on the show and get away with it, even if it’s inaccurate and malicious… As one professional put it: “It’s fine if Brandi Glanville does the show – she doesn’t have anything going for her and the show makes her famous. But for someone who has a real business or career outside the show, they need to stay a mile away.” – TMZ, March 4, 2013, ‘Real Housewives of Bev Hills’ Move to BOYCOTT Show
Simon Barney filed divorce papers in January 2010, charging Tamra with verbal abuse and adultery: “Petitioner contends that Respondent has been verbally abusive and has committed acts of disloyalty and infidelity.” Tamra was apparently unaware her husband of 11 years was filing divorce papers. “Simon has simply had enough,” the source said. “The show changed her.” When contacted by RadarOnline, Simon confirmed that he filed for divorce, saying, “The papers speak for themselves.” Tamra, who has a son from a previous marriage, has three children with Simon.
In February 2010, Hollwood Gossip reported that Tamra had moved onto Simon’s best friend Eddie Judge:
RadarOnline reported on September 23, 2013 that producers can fictionalize footage, among other things. The following is the report on the “participation agreement” for “extras,” or unpaid participants, of the show.
EXCLUSIVE DOCUMENT: Read The Secret ‘Real Housewives’ Contract
“The rights granted herein shall also include the right to edit, delete, dub and fictionalize the Footage and Materials, the Program and the Advertisements as Producer sees fit in Producer’s sole discretion,” the opening clause in the contract reads.
What’s more, the document reveals how participants agree, from a legal standpoint, that it’s not the fault of the production company if they’re injured, defamed or have “personal, private, surprising, disparaging and embarrassing” details of their life broadcast — even if those humiliating and “unfavorable” details are not true!
Under the stipulations of the five-page standard contract, participants in Housewives — one of the most popular “reality” shows on the air — agree to the 17 terms, including:
- They will not be paid for participating. “I hereby waive any and all rights I may have to any compensation whatsoever.”
- The show may expose them to “public ridicule, humiliation or condemnation” and may portray them in a false light.
- They shall not talk about the show and what goes on behind-the-scenes — ever — keeping “in strictest confidence” both “prior to, during, or after the taping” all “information or materials.”
- They must wear “clothing, costumes, accessories and/or makeup” at the discretion of producers.
- Their appearances on the show are “not a performance and is not (considered) employment.” It adds, “I acknowledge that I am a volunteer.”
- Footage of them may be “exploited throughout the universe at any time, in perpetuity… without any compensation to me whatsoever.”
Participants also “represent and warrant” they’re in good health and have no medical, physical or emotional condition and agree not to take medication or drugs during filming.
They also sign an undertaking that they won’t run for public office for 12 months after their last scene is shot!
The document was authored by Sirens Project 1224, LLC., the Delaware-based production company behind The Real Housewives of New Jersey franchise.
It exposes how reality television is REALLY made and proves what critics of reality television have often argued — story lines are fake and don’t reflect what truly happened during filming.
Boldly, the agreement states the participant understands “that I am giving up certain legal rights under this agreement, including without limitation, my right to file a lawsuit.”
It adds, “I agree that I will never sue Producer, Sirens Media, LLC (“Sirens Media”), NBCUniversal Media, LLC, Network or anyone because I do not like the manner in which Producer or its licensees or assignees took or used the Footage and Materials or used the Footage and Materials in the Program.”
And if the wannabe reality star breaches the terms and conditions of the deal, the consequences are severe — a minimum $50,000 fine!
“Any breach by me of any of the confidentiality provisions of this Agreement would cause Producer and Network irreparable injury and damage that cannot be reasonably or adequately compensated by damages… therefore, I hereby expressly agree that Producer and Network shall be entitled to injunctive and other equitable relief,” the document reads.
“Accordingly, I agree to pay Producer and Network the sum of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000) per breach plus disgorgement of any income that I may receive in connection with my breach as liquidated damages in the event that I breach any of the confidentiality provisions of this Agreement.”
It all begs the question: Why would someone sign away their life for fame or infamy?
According to the contract, participants “acknowledge and agree that a significant element of the consideration I am receiving… is the opportunity for publicity.”
Here is the link to the actual contract: