The original cast of This Is Us has secured $2 million bonuses for the final season, reportedly requesting the same for a fellow cast member. When it debuted on NBC in 2016, the series distinguished itself from other family dramas by using different timelines to follow the lives of married couple Jack and Rebecca Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore), their three children, and others in their orbit. But as it has continued with each new installment, the writers have introduced new faces and complications to the central narrative.
Even as it has continued to expand its roster of supporting characters, weaving in different timelines in the progress, the central draw of This Is Us remains the chemistry between the core actors that have been part of the show since the beginning. Along with Ventimiglia and Moore, the drama has remained a hit based on the strength of the interplay between Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Sullivan, and Jon Huertas. As good as the writing may be, the show certainly couldn't succeed without them.
Now, according to Deadline, the main adult cast of This Is Us sought pay raises ahead of the drama’s sixth and final season. The request, which was based on the show’s success, was initially greeted by resistance from 20th Television (the production behind the series) and NBC. But, ultimately, 20th TV and NBC have agreed to a $2 million cash bonus for each of the original stars — with the exception of Huertas, who plays Miguel, as he receives a $1 million bonus. Dan Fogelman, the creator and executive producer of This Is Us, supported the actors in their requests.
The cast showed support for Huertas, who was recurring in season 1 before being upped to a series regular in season 2. They lobbied for him to achieve a bonus that matched their own, but their efforts were unsuccessful. It’s noted that some, and potentially all of the original seven stars offered to pull a portion of their bonuses so that Huertas could have the same pay, but sources say that Huertas declined the offer.
The seven actors – Ventimiglia, Moore, Brown, Metz, Hartley, Watson, and Sullivan - previously negotiated raises following This Is Us season 2. The actors, who had started at different pay levels, all went up to $250,000 an episode. They have maintained parity since then. Ahead of This Is Us season 6, which premieres on January 4, the winning ensemble joins the cast of other shows like Friends and The Big Bang Theory that have requested increases that reflect the show’s success. At a time when most of the small-screen attention has shifted to streaming and cable, This Is Us has the distinction of being a network drama that’s ending with plenty of fanfare.