I thought you’d enjoy this short article about Richard Belzer, who seems to be commenting about the recent stories about Mariska Hargitay’s $7 million salary from her role on SVU:
Getting Rich With "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"
By Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith
Apr 25, 2008
Richard Belzer, who played Det. John Munch on "Homicide: Life on the Streets" for six years before he began his current 10-year run with the character on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," straightens out a misconception about his financial situation. With each of the "Law & Order" shows playing as many as six times a day in reruns, people, he says, think that he and his co-stars are "filthy rich."
He's not complaining, mind you, and is proud of the fact that "90 million people a week in the U.S. watch one version of the show or another" -- but he stresses that residuals aren't what they used to be in the old days, "when residuals were high and stayed high. On the other hand, the shows are being played over and over and over -- and it's a dream for all of us to work and live in New York."
There have been changes along the way in the various "L&O" casts, but Belzer points out that, unlike some other shows, "If there have been any flaps, they've been done in a very civilized way -- with very little ever spilling over to the press and with most leaving on friendly conditions."
Asked what he considers the key to the series' success, he says that part of the genius of "L&O" creator Dick Wolf "is that he leaves nothing hanging in the storylines. Each segment is self-contained. You can tune in and watch any one segment and not wonder what you missed."
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