EXCLUSIVE: It pays to be alive — or dead — on CBSGhosts. Following a very successful second season, the cast of the paranormal comedy have renegotiated their contracts, landing big salary increases while adding an optional year to their existing deals, Deadline has learned.

Produced by CBS Studios in association with Lionsgate Television and BBC Studios, Ghosts, an adaptation of the British format, stars Rose McIver and Utkarsh Ambudkar as Samantha and Jay, a young couple living alongside ghosts in a country house they’d inherited.

According to sources, McIver and Ambudkar have seen their paychecks double to $250,000 an episode.

The actors playing the ghosts, Brandon Scott Jones (Isaac), Richie Moriarty (Pete), Danielle Pinnock (Alberta), Asher Grodman (Trevor), Román Zaragoza (Sasappis), Sheila Carrasco (Flower), Rebecca Wisocky (Hetty) and Devan Chandler Long (Thorfinn) — whose salaries varied in the $35,000 – $55,000 per episode range — will each make $100,000 an episode next season, I hear.

Reps for CBS, CBS Studios, Lionsgate Television and BBC Studios declined comment.

Ghosts is coming off a strong second season, averaging more than 11M viewers after 35 days of delayed viewing and posting rare ratings gains for a linear series. It ranked as the #2 most-watched comedy on broadcast, neck and neck with CBS’ departing Young Sheldon, and the #1 comedy on Paramount+ for the 2022-2023 season. Additionally, Season 2 logged a 28% increase in live streaming viewership across Paramount+ and CBS’ digital apps.

An instant breakout, finishing its first season as the top new comedy series, Ghosts also was a centerpiece of CBS’ 2022 upfront presentation with a big musical number.

TV actors sign multi-year contracts (usually for six seasons) when they get cast in a new series. They are not contractually entitled to a raise and are obligated to continue to work under the original terms but it is customary for a studio to reward the casts of high-performing series after Season 2 with a pay bump in exchange for an additional year added to their contracts.

For a moment last week, there was a divide between the living and the undead on Ghosts, as I hear originally only McIver and Ambudkar were given raises. As a result, the actors playing the ghosts did not show up for rehearsal last Thursday. Things quickly got back on track, and renegotiations went on concurrent to production, which started Monday as scheduled with the entire cast on board. The 10-episode third season, truncated by the impact of the double strike, is set to premiere on CBS Feb. 15.

While budgets, especially in linear TV, have been contracting, the raises for the Ghosts cast prove that elusive, outsized hits will continue to command top dollar for talent.

In a similar fashion, the leads of NBC’s drama hit This Is Us also all received big pay bumps heading into Season 3, more than doubling their checks to $250,000.

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Source: DLine

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