The coolest guy General Hospital never gave a decent storyline to, Graham Shiels, is back on primetime tonight on Numb3rs. "I'm playing a henchman to an illegal arms dealer: prototype chump of the week. Haha." Shiels says on his My Space blog. Shiels is appearing on the hit CBS procedural Numb3rs tonight at 9 PM C/10 PM ET. Photo By Josh Negrin.
While daytime dramas might be among the hardest hit sectors in entertainment, the ripple effects continue to spread in prime time, too. Among the more high profile moves, NBC gave Jay Leno it's entire 10PM time slot block Mondays through Fridays starting this fall in an effort to save massive amounts of cash: The Tonight Show, which is expected to be the model for the "new" Leno show, costs about $2 million per week to produce compared to $35 million for a typical week's worth of prime time dramas.
Now comes news from Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello that CBS is basically asking its stars to not negotiate salary increases (in effect, a salary freeze) for some of the network's top tier shows:
CBS Paramount is asking the on-air talent on the majority of its dramas to forgo their annual raises and keep their salaries flat next season. (Multiyear contracts typically have standard yearly increases built in.) The unprecedented move, part of an overall cost-cutting measure, is an effort to keep budgets down at the CSIs, NCIS, Numb3rs, and their kin, and prevent further behind-the-scenes layoffs. (CBS dramas produced by outside studios -- i.e., Ghost Whisperer, The Mentalist, and Without a Trace -- won't be affected.)