As she enters her fifth season on the Fox show 9-1-1, Angela Bassett is set to become broadcast television’s highest-paid Black actress ever for a drama series, as reported by Deadline. The iconic performer will now command upwards of $450,000 per episode, and her salary raise covers other related duties such as executive production of the series and its spinoff, 9-1-1: Lone Star.
When Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal premiered on ABC in 2012, Kerry Washington was making $80K per episode, but she was taking home a quarter-million dollars per episode by the time the series completed its stellar six-year run. In contrast, Viola Davis was already making $250K an episode by her second season on another Rhimes hit, How to Get Away with Murder, and allegedly was near or at the $450K mark when the show wrapped up last year.
However, Ms. Bassett still trails Grey’s Anatomy‘s Ellen Pompeo, who signed a contract four years ago that nets her more than $20 million annually/$575K per episode and makes Pompeo the highest-paid actress on a TV drama.
Nevertheless, the remaining cast members of 9-1-1 received a handsome pay increase as well. Male lead Peter Krause, who plays Bassett’s husband, reportedly got a 25% salary bump which puts him in the low $300K range. Jennifer Love Hewitt and Connie Britton are the other big names who had a boost in pay, although their numbers are undisclosed.
The rest of the series’ regulars, including Rockmond Dunbar, Oliver Stark, and Aisha Hinds, will pull $80K an episode for this season but are expected to get a 25% pay raise of their own next season and break the six-figure threshold at that point, too.