Pay Concerns Scotch 'West Wing' Special
Retrospective replaced by pilot episodeLOS ANGELES --
But the network late last week scuttled the clip show, reportedly because some cast members wanted to be compensated a little more generously.
Several news accounts say the actors -- no one is named -- refused to take part in a retrospective unless they were paid more than what was on the table to sit and reminisce about the Emmy-winning series, which ends Sunday. Such appearances aren't covered in the actors' contracts for the show; Variety notes that some in the cast could command as much as $200,000 per hour.
That's a lot of cash to throw at a special whose ratings probably won't be that huge. The "West Wing" special was scheduled to air at 7 p.m. ET Sunday, a time when TV viewing is usually at pretty low levels. The series finale airs at 8 p.m.
In its place, NBC will air the pilot episode of the series, in which White House staffer Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe) discovers his date from the previous night is a call girl, a bike accident incapacitates President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) at a crucial time and Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford) makes an ill-considered comment on television.
The series finale of "The West Wing" will focus on the Bartlet administration leaving the White House as new President Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits) is inaugurated.