Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #254: A Miscellaneous Morning Musing

Actor Laurence Fishburne is reaping the rewards of his decision to take over for William Petersen in the flagship CSI franchise. According to Nikki Finke, he's looking at about $14 million a year from his starring role, as well as a sweetheart development deal for his production company.

Now some may criticize this salary since CBS, like its sister companies Paramount, Viacom, and all the other myriad divisions of Sumner Redstone's empire, is having money troubles.

But I think this is one of those times when you have to look at the show specifically and how it is doing to see whether the salary is justified.
CSI is still one of the consistently high performers ratings-wise, and I have no doubt that the show itself is profitable.

Besides, I have no problem with Fishburne getting all he can get up front, because you know that the network will do everything to keep him from getting any residuals from the reruns. That's the self-fulfilling idiocy of Hollywood, they're so desperate to rip off people's profit shares, they have to pay the price up front.

On a personal note, I like Fishburne's character on the show, and how he's rapidly learning the job, but I especially like how he's still a scientist first. I was worried that the network would look at Fishburne's commanding screen presence and try to rework the show into something more akin to
CSI: Miami's 80s-style shoot-em-up antics, and completely forgetting that Fishburne can play a believable intellectual. (And with a middle aged actor, it's not only a more believable tack to take, but less physically demanding)

So kudos to Mr. Fishburne and his agent for working out this deal.

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