'Honey Boo Boo' Family Seeks Big Raise for Season 2 (REPORT)
As Honey Boo Boo herself might say, it's time for TLC to "redneckognize" and pay her rural Georgia family what they're worth. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Thompson family, the stars of TLC's surprise summer smash Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, are asking for a hefty pay raise to appear in a second season of the reality show.
If they get their way, say the trade's sources, the Thompsons will earn at least twice what they're making now.
How big a bump does the family want? The trade paper kicked off a controversy a few weeks ago when it reported that the family - seven-year-old beauty pageant contestant Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson, her three teenage sisters, mama June Shannon, and papa Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson -- were earning as little as $2,000 to $4,000 per episode for the hit show. Shannon, who was targeted by critics who felt she was exploiting her kids on camera without even being well-paid to do so, disputed those numbers. She said that the family earned substantially more. She also said that the family had saved the TLC earnings in trust funds for each kid, with the family still living off Sugar Bear's wages from the local chalk mine.
Still, they can't be earning much. The report cites a source saying the family wants to be bumped up to $10,000 per episode, while another source tells the paper they'lre likely to settle for $8,000. So that may be as little as $80,000 for a whole season for the whole family.
A fee of $100,000 per season for the whole family would still be a bargain for TLC, given how much the channel has paid some of the other unorthodox families it's built shows around. Granted, the Thompsons don't have as many kids as the Gosselins or the Duggars. Still, when Jon & Kate + 8 was peaking four years ago, the Gosselins were earning $22,500 per epsiode, according to Jon Gosselin. For 19 Kids and Counting, the Duggars earn between $25,000 and $40,000 per episode. Honey Boo Boo draws about three million viewers per episode, a huge number for basic cable. Based on what TLC can charge advertisers to reach that audience, the channel can surely afford to cough up some more cash for the Thompsons.
As their fame has grown, so has their financial burden, particularly the cost of security. The Thompsons' house was broken into in late August while they were out of town. A police report stemming from the incident revealed that the local cops have recruited a bodyguard for Alana and a security detail for the family. Alana and her sisters can't even go to the local playground unaccompanied. Security aside, there's also the ongoing expenses of all of Alana's beauty pageant activity. No wonder she likes to say, "A dolla makes me holla."
The current 10-episode season of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo ends next Wednesday. TLC has not yet said if there will even be a second season (no doubt they wanted to make sure the family's deal was in place before announcing there'll be a Season 2).
A show rep tells Celebuzz TLC has no comment.