Typical ‘Modern Family,' arguing over money

Snoop Dogg has canceled his half-time appearance at the Soul's game on Saturday because he was D-O-double-booked. Associated press
Snoop Dogg has canceled his half-time appearance at the Soul's game on Saturday because he was D-O-double-booked. Associated press
Posted: July 25, 2012

Five stars of the mega-hit sitcom "Modern Family" have banded together and are suing to void their contracts, arguing that the contracts are illegal under California law.

The suit was filed Tuesday by Sofia Vergara, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell and argues that their contracts with 20th Century Fox Television violate a state law prohibiting personal-service contracts from extending for more than seven years.

" ‘Modern Family' has been a breakout critical and financial success," the suit states. "That success, however, has been built upon a collection of illegal contracts."

This is what is known as a negotiating ploy. Last year, when the actors were making approximately $65,000 per episode, they had no problem with the contracts' legality.

Now that they've finished their third season and the show is raking in tens of millions of dollars and they're looking to double or triple their salaries, the contracts don't look so good.

Tattle is not a seer but there's too much at stake for network ABC, producer 20th Century Fox and the stars to not get this resolved quickly. It's a fact of life in Hollywood: If you star in a popular TV series, you get rich. If you star in a worldwide hit TV series, you get never-have-to-work-again-except-you-bought-a-$10 million-house-overlooking-the-Pacific rich.

Family feud

Speaking of rich, the executors of Michael Jackson's estate, John Branca and John McClain, said Tuesday that they were concerned about the welfare of the singer's mother and his three children amid a nasty family feud over money that has prompted three law-enforcement investigations.

"We are concerned that we do what we can to protect them from undue influences, bullying, greed, and other unfortunate circumstances," states the letter posted just hours after deputies responded to a family disturbance at the hilltop home where Katherine Jackson and her three grandchildren live.

No arrests were made, but officials say there is an active battery investigation.

Sandra Ribera, an attorney for Katherine, claims "a plan has been in place for the last three years to remove Katherine Jackson from her home and her beloved grandchildren."

Katherine was reported missing over the weekend but later was found to be with her daughter Rebbie and other relatives in Arizona. She has not spoken with her grandchildren — Prince, Paris and Blanket — since leaving L.A. on July 15.

Meanwhile, Janet, Jermaine and Randy Jackson were joined by siblings Tito and Rebbie in a letter leaked last week calling on Branca and McClain to resign and accusing them of manipulating their mother. The letter also claims that Michael's will is invalid.

The estate has denied the accusations, and no challenge to the executors has been filed in court.

TMZ.com reported that Tito has since backed out of the siblings' proposed estate coup.

Sheesh, who would have guessed the Jackson family would be dysfunctional.

Bourdain eats through

Chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain stormed through Philly on Tuesday to shoot an episode of his Travel Channel show "The Layover," which profiles what somebody can do in a city in 24 to 48 hours.

Around noon Tuesday, as the People Paper's Sean Carlin reported, Bourdain and his crew hit the Italian Market and stopped at DiBruno Bros.

"The perfectly ripe and ready raw milk Stichelton cheese at @DiBrunoBros was a major score," Bourdain Tweeted.

Adam Balkovic, who works at DiBruno's, said owner Emilio Mignucci took Bourdain around the Market before he headed to Paesano's (1017 S. 9th St.). There, Bourdain dug into sandwiches with owner Peter McAndrews.

Nathan Baynes of Paesano's said the Liveracce (crunchy fried chicken livers, sliced sopressata, sautéed onions, Bibb lettuce and roasted tomatoes) was Bourdain's favorite.

Bourdain also hit up the Mutter Museum (its website announced that Bourdain declared that it has "the best gift shop ever") and made his way to the Barnes museum, the Barnes Foundation said in a Tweet.

Didn't Albert Barnes prohibit Tweets?

TATTBITS

Snoop Dogg's concert appearance at Saturday's Soul playoff game has been canceled because of a scheduling conflict.

Snoop and Biz Markie were slated to perform at halftime of the Soul's first-round game against New Orleans.

Fans who purchased tickets specifically for this event may contact the Soul ticket department at 215-253-4900, ext. 3 for a refund.

Another ratings ploy?

A pitch to get a raise?

Concern that "American Idol" judges were getting all the publicity?

"America's Got Talent" judge Sharon Osbourne took to Twitter on Tuesday, addressing "my darling" fellow judge Howard Stern and saying, "money is not the reason I'm not returning" to the show. Her tweet trailed off with "it's because ... "

... of Howie Mandel?

She can't take another Big Barry?

Or because NBC moved the show from L.A. to Newark, N.J., to accommodate Howard Stern.

Matt Damon said at Comic-Con that there's a sense of fury in the U.S. over banking scandals and financial inequality that neither Democrats nor Republicans are addressing in their presidential campaigns.

Oh, they're addressing it. They're addressing thank-you notes to their big donors.

Damon was at Comic-Con to promote the sci-fi thriller "Elysium," about a future in which the ultra-rich escape a dying Earth to live in a poverty-free, illness-free orbiting habitat.

Uh, that's not science fiction. That's a gated community with concierge doctors. n

—Daily News staff writer Ed Barkowitz and wire services contributed to this report. Email gensleh@phillynews.com

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