9-1-1 star Angela Bassett secures pay raise ahead of season 5

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Photo credit: Sky - Fox
Photo credit: Sky - Fox

The cast of Fox's 9-1-1 have secured pay increases for season five, making Angela Bassett one of the top paid actors on network television.

According to Deadline, the pay bump has made Athena star Bassett's salary over $450,000 per episode, which the site notes could be the highest ever for an actress of colour in a TV drama.

This reflects both Bassett's leading role in the series and her involvement in the development of the show and as executive producer.

Bassett and her co-star Peter Krause worked with show creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Tim Minear to conceive the drama series in 2017. She is also an executive producer for the spin-off show 9-1-1: Lone Star.

In the negotiations, Krause also reportedly received a 25% raise, making him the second highest earner on the show at around $300,000 per episode, with Jennifer Love Hewitt the third highest.

Photo credit: Sky - Fox
Photo credit: Sky - Fox

Related: 9-1-1 confirms season 5 premiere date

Deadline states that other cast members have also received the 25% raise, putting them on around $80,000 per episode, which is planned to increase to $100,000 per episode for the following season. Aisha Hinds, Kenneth Choi, Rockmond Dunbar, Oliver Stark and Ryan Guzman were among those to get this salary boost.

It is common for actors to renegotiate their salaries before seasons three or five of a show, when series often add an additional year onto the cast's six-year contracts.

Last year, Stark was said to be the only original supporting cast member to receive a raise, as he started on a lower fee per episode due to his relative lack of experience. His salary was reportedly nearly doubled to be in a similar range to Hinds, Choi and Dunbar.

Reps for the actors and studio have not commented on the report.

Photo credit: Sky - Fox
Photo credit: Sky - Fox

Related: 9-1-1 and spin-off Lone Star futures confirmed by Fox

California introduced a new law in 2018 banning employers from asking about previous salaries in order to close the pay gap for women and minorities. This had a major effect on the television industry, which was previously based on a quote system that sometimes limited the salaries of diverse actors.

The new "equal pay for equal work" system has led to many shows increasing the salaries of cast members, particularly women and people of colour.

Last year, Bassett featured alongside Oprah Winfrey in HBO special Between the World and Me, which explores the fraught racial history of the US.

9-1-1 airs on FOX in the US and Sky Witness in the UK. Season 5 will premiere on September 20.

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