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‘Vanderpump Rules’ EP Reveals How Scandoval Affected Salary Negotiations for Season 11

Vanderpump Rules fans are getting an inside look into how the cast renegotiated their salaries in the aftermath of Tom Sandoval and Rachel “Raquel” Leviss‘ affair.

Executive producer Alex Baskin recalled the conversations that took place about season 11 paychecks, telling the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, January 28, “This is as hard as it’s ever been because typically, we have a rate card, a tenure card, we’ve used in prior seasons. There are all sorts of asks across the board.”

There were certain requests that were immediately rejected despite the success of the show.

“Something like a producer credit is off the table because that isn’t something that we could open up,” Baskin noted. “But otherwise, I knew that it would take a little bit of time for the cast expectations to settle. Because a lot of the time too, we are making sure that they’re aware of the state of the industry and the fact that shows are challenged these days.”

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Baskin understood why the Vanderpump Rules cast was expecting a raise because of how Sandoval and Leviss’ scandal rocked the Bravo universe. After Sandoval’s split from Ariana Madix due to his infidelity made headlines in March 2023, the entire cast reunited to film a new finale for season 10. They also hashed out the drama during the dramatic reunion, which delivered record-breaking ratings for Bravo and Peacock.

'Vanderpump Rules' EP Reveals How Scandoval Affected Salary Negotiations for Season 11

“Their point is, rightfully, ‘You guys are touting the show’s success. Where is our piece of that?’ Those are tough conversations,” Baskin admitted on Sunday. “I did think that everybody, with the exception of Rachel, who had to make a personal decision, wanted to come back. Everybody did better than what they had previously gotten.”

Leviss’ participation in season 11 was initially up in the air after she checked herself into a mental health treatment facility in April 2023. Her three-month stay resulted in her missing the first weeks of production, and Leviss later confirmed her exit from Vanderpump Rules.

“I asked for equal pay with Tom and Ariana and for them to reimburse me for my treatment expenses. They refused to pay me equally,” Leviss claimed on Bethenny Frankel‘s “ReWives” podcast in August 2023 about one of the reasons for her exit. “I feel like when you pay your employees, it really shows how much you value them.”

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Baskin, however, recently claimed that Leviss, 29, was given a “healthy offer” to return to the show. “Our concern was whether it was the right thing for her anyway because at that point we weren’t sure,” he said on the Friday, January 26, episode of Scheana Shay‘s “Scheananigans” podcast. “I thought it would have done well for her. I thought it would have been the right forum for her to tell her story. I felt good about it from that standpoint.”

'Vanderpump Rules' EP Reveals How Scandoval Affected Salary Negotiations for Season 11
Vanderpump Rules, Season 11. Gizelle Hernandez/Bravo

The producer elaborated on the talks that took place, telling the Los Angeles Times, “We had conversations with both her reps and her directly. Our first concern was how she was doing, and whether or not it made sense for her to come back — personally, emotionally. She was very conflicted about it.”

Baskin added: “There was, frankly, a lot of conversations about money. Her team was very clear that they felt that she should be rewarded. At one point, they raised the idea of her getting a development deal.”

Season 11 subsequently filmed with Sandoval, Madix, Lala Kent, Shay, Katie Maloney, Tom Schwartz and James Kennedy. Baskin has maintained that there were no regrets about not finding a way to include Leviss in the new episodes.


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“We would have liked it [if she came back] because I think there’s a great interest in how she was doing,” he said on Sunday. “I think that she would have been surprised by the consideration that was given to her, and I think, as you’ll see in the first episode, there was a willingness to hear her out. And I’m not saying that everything would have healed right away. But I think it would have been a different experience than she would have anticipated.”

Baskin showed support for Leviss’ decision to create space between herself and Sandoval, adding, “I will say on the other side of things, if she still wanted to move on from Tom and didn’t want anything to do with him, then perhaps her absence allowed that to happen.”

When asked on Shay’s podcast whether there was a chance Leviss could come back in the future, Baskin didn’t hesitate before shutting down the idea. “I don’t see that happening,” he replied on Friday’s episode.

Season 11 of Vanderpump Rules premieres on Bravo Tuesday, January 30, at 8 p.m. ET and will be available to stream on Peacock the next day.

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