Queer Eye guys get a raise

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com November 01 2003 12:00 AM ET

NBC has come to terms on a new deal for the stars of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, the hit show on its Bravo cable channel. Recently completed negotiations have produced a contract awaiting signatures on both sides of the deal, according to sources who indicated that the Fab 5 all received raises more than doubling their original salaries. Although fronted by four different talent agencies--as well as various managers and lawyers--the Fab 5 banded together in order to command equal pay. The Queer Eye quintet returned to the negotiating table with new agents in tow after the first season to remedy the relative pittance they made at $3,000 per episode. Their new deal doles out at least $8,000 per episode, according to one source familiar with the deal.

Cultural icons seemingly overnight, the stars of Queer Eye are fashionista Carson Kressley, interior-design guru Thom Filicia, food-and-wine expert Ted Allen, lifestyle maven Jai Rodriguez, and hair- and skin-care maestro Kyan Douglas. The new deal also guarantees that a specific number of the new episodes will be repurposed (i.e., recycled) on NBC in prime time, which would pay out additional dollars to the hosts in each instance. They were not remunerated by NBC for the repurposed episodes during the first season. In addition, NBC retains approval rights to any endorsement deal that explicitly mentions the Fab 5 nickname--the trademark to which the network co-owns with Queer Eye production company Scout Productions. The hosts are reportedly entertaining numerous offers for commercial appearances. Individually, however, the Fab 5 are free to pursue deals without NBC oversight. The new contract also provides more wiggle room for them to participate in other outside projects but nothing that could pose a potential competitive threat, such as a regular role on another TV series.

Last month, NBC ordered 40 new episodes of QueerEye from Scout Productions. The series's initial 13-episode run, which began in July, was an instant ratings hit for Bravo and performed well in select airings on NBC. NBC declined comment, as did representatives for the Fab 5.