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SAG, Basic-Cable Producers Reach Deal

Producers of basic-cable shows reached an agreement with the Screen Actors Guild that will give performers 21% more pay for their work in original shows for cable.

Actors will only get that rate if their work is frequently rerun.

The agreement is retroactive to Jan. 1 and will last until June 30, 2008.

The focus of the negotiations by the guild was to increase residuals -- payments made to performers when shows appear in reruns. Under the new terms, an actor will receive 17% of his or her original compensation when a show reruns a first time, up from 12%. There is a sliding scale of compensation for the next 12 reruns, down to 1.5% for the last covered airing of an episode. Each step was increased, for a total of 21% improvement in residual rates.

The deal also includes terms that allow for accelerated payment to performers. A check will be issued for the second through the fourth reruns when the second showing airs, meaning that a performer will get money faster and may be compensated if the show isn't even repeated more than twice.

This marks the first change in the cable residual formula in 16 years. Earlier this year, the union also negotiated a 20% improvement in residuals for actors who voice the characters in basic-cable animated shows.