After receiving consistently solid ratings, Fox’s smash hit 9-1-1 is returning for a fifth season. The cast has reportedly negotiated higher salaries for their return, with the legendary Angela Bassett’s ranking as one of the highest for an actress of color in a network drama.
Leading the show’s cast, Bassett also assisted creator Ryan Murphy in developing the series, and serves as its executive producer. In being so involved with its production, the raise reportedly brings her salary well above $450,000 an episode.
While it is difficult to gauge the earnings for other TV drama actresses of color, Kerry Washington reportedly started on Scandal at $80,000 per episode and ended up with $250,000 per episode by the show’s end. It has been speculated that Viola Davis made $250,000 per episode during the second season of How to Get Away With Murder and may have earned twice that amount in 2020.
Along with Bassett, the rest of 9-1-1’s main cast also saw a significant pay increase. Show regulars Peter Krause, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Rockmond Dunbar, and Aisha Hinds in their roles as first responders in Los Angeles, exploring its high-pressure experiences, are believed to be all getting a 25% raise to about $80,000 an episode next season and are projected to go up to $100,000 an episode during its sixth season.
Earlier this year, Bassett spoke to theGrio about her role in 9-1-1, and the preparation for her role as a police officer after the summer of 2020 and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Bassett said, “I think in the portrayal of Athena, who we’ve come to know her as, the type of woman she, the way she loves her family, the way she loves her profession…she’s a good representation and portrayal of the best of what we hope for in our law enforcement, and she holds that tenet, that mandate to serve and protect her community.”
Season 5 of 9-1-1 will premiere on Sept. 20th at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.