Season 5 of Fox’s “9-1-1” is set to premiere this fall, and star Angela Bassett is going into the new installment with a pay raise that could make history.
On Tuesday, Deadline reported that all of the show’s regulars secured 25 percent pay increases after lengthy negotiations. Bassett leads the show’s cast, helped creator Ryan Murphy develop the series and serves as executive producer for it and its Southern spinoff, “9-1-1: Lone Star”. As such, her raise reportedly brings her “north of” $450,000 an episode. The salary is among the highest on network television and is possibly the highest ever for an actress of colour on a broadcast drama series.
It’s hard to pinpoint hard numbers in terms of earnings for other TV drama actresses of colour but, according to TVLine, Kerry Washington reportedly started on Scandal at $80,000 per episode and ended up with $250,000 per episode by the finale. Viola Davis reportedly made $250,000 per episode two seasons into “How to Get Away With Murder” and may have earned around $450,000 by the finale.
Bassett’s reported increase means the Oscar-nominated actress makes $125,000 per episode less than “Grey’s Anatomy” star Ellen Pompeo, whom Forbes named the 10th highest-paid actress in television. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Pompeo earns $575,000 per episode, which amounts to around $20 million per season. If 9-1-1 lasts as long as the hospital drama, Bassett could see herself rising in the ranks of TV’s highest-paid actresses in no time!
The rest of “9-1-1″‘s main cast also saw significant pay increases, with Peter Krause reportedly earning the second-highest check, followed by Jennifer Love Hewitt, Aisha Hinds, Rockmond Dunbar, Kenneth Choi, Oliver Stark and Ryan Guzman.
ET has reached out to Bassett’s reps and the studio for comment.
Season 5 of “9-1-1” will premiere on Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox. For more, watch below.