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'Modern Family' Cast

WE WANT OUT

7/24/2012 1:30 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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The cast of "Modern Family" wants out of their current contracts for the show -- all in a bold move to score much fatter paychecks.

The cast members -- Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara -- just filed a lawsuit against 20th Century Fox TV, demanding their contracts be declared null and void.

According to the lawsuit, the contracts violate a "7 year" law in California that bars personal service contracts with a duration longer than 7 years. As a result, the cast wants them tossed out ... presumably so they can renegotiate for more money.

The cast also wants the freedom to pursue other acting gigs outside "Modern Family" and Fox -- a freedom that's severely curtailed by their current contracts.

It's the latest in the bitter salary negotiations between the cast members and 20th Century Fox.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox recently made an offer to increase the cast's salary as follows: $150,000 per episode plus a $50,000 per episode bonus for season 4; $200,000 per episode for season 5, $225,000 for season 6, and up to $325,000 for an anticipated season 9.

But the cast reportedly rejected the offer and is now demanding much, much more.

As for "Modern Family" patriarch Ed O'Neill, he's not listed as a plaintiff on the lawsuit -- but THR reports, he has since decided to join his cast members out of solidarity.

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