Break out the Bud Light and the cheez whiz ... the cast of "Party Down South" is celebrating 'cause their network just folded like a cheap suit and they scored HUGE pay raises ... TMZ has learned.
As we've reported, the 8 cast members had demanded 1,400% pay raises -- from a measly $500 an episode to $7,500 -- but CMT refused to budge ... until now.
We're told everyone settled on a 400% increase -- to $2,000 an episode. But CMT sweetened the pot by giving the cast a ratings bonus, and it's likely they'll collect on it ... the show is the most successful ever on the network.
So CMT announced Friday the show is officially coming back for Season 2.
You know what that means -- more backyard pee parties!
'Party Down South'
Money War Ain't Over!!!
Cast Threatening Strike
3/19/2014 11:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
12:30 PM PT -- It's getting real ... a source connected with the show tells TMZ, "It would be a shame for them to walk away from their big break. Fortunately for the viewers, there are plenty of kids in the South."
The cast of CMT's "Party Down South" is NOT giving up on its war for fatter paychecks -- despite what the network is claiming -- in fact, they've now banded together ... and are threatening to derail the entire show if their money demands aren't met.
As we reported, show reps had claimed the salary war was over -- telling us the cast had agreed to continue with Season 2 production per their original contract ... at a rate roughly equal to their Season 1 rate of $500 per episode.
The cast wanted a raise to $7,500 each per episode -- but CMT refused to budge ... and reps for the show told us the cast had given up its fight.
But now we've learned ... that's not true -- lawyers representing the cast just sent a letter to CMT and 495 Productions, claiming the contracts initially signed by the cast weren't fair.
The lawyers claim the cast signed extremely unfair contracts without lawyer help, and they want new contracts drawn up asap. Among their demands ... way more money.
Season 2 is scheduled to begin production shortly -- but the cast is refusing to participate until CMT comes to the table. Reps for the show tell us, if the cast doesn't shoot, they're in breach of their contract ... end of story.
'Party Down South'
Ends in Surrender!
3/16/2014 12:35 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The South will apparently rise again -- "Party Down South" is coming back for Season 2 now that the cast is waving the white flag of surrender in its pay dispute ... TMZ has learned.
We broke the story ... the "PDS" regulars were stonewalling ... refusing to work unless CMT paid them $7,500 an episode -- a hefty 1,400% pay raise from the paltry 500 bucks for Season 1.
But sources close to the show tell us ... CMT refused to budge -- even though "PDS" is the network's most successful show EVER.
We're told, the network is being hard-ass ... saying the cast signed a contract through season 2, so that's the way it is ... the network's way or the highway.
BUT ... CMT dangled a carrot, promising bigger paychecks in Season 3.
Note to cast: That's the oldest trick in the book.
'Party Down South' Stars
We Want 1,400% Pay Raises
3/1/2014 12:10 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
This oughta jar your preserves -- the "Party Down South" hillbillies are getting smuggier than "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" ... demanding a 1400% pay increase.
We're told cast members were pulling $500 each per episode for Season 1 -- but now that the show's a success, cast sources say the stars are banding together, demanding $7,500 per episode.
They have some ammo ... "PDS" has quickly become CMT's most successful program ever.
Our sources say CMT is hesitant to cough up the money, but the stars want their raises finalized before they shoot a single frame for Season 2.
We got the cast out Thursday night ... and they clearly had booze -- not bills -- on their brains.
'Party Down South' Star
VIDEO Captures Burglary
2/25/2014 12:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
TMZ just got VIDEO OF the "Party Down South" star who was busted Sunday in Louisiana for burglarizing a car ... and it's clear this is not a drunken escapade ... it was coldly premeditated.
Check out Lyle Boudreaux scoping out the car. He seems to know it's unlocked and opens the door without hesitation and makes a beeline for the driver's purse. He then takes her credit card out of her wallet and prances away ... not looking drunk at all.
Boudreaux was nabbed in a nearby bar after using the credit card to buy drinks.
Boudreaux was arrested for felony burglary of a vehicle. And judging from the video, he's in big trouble.
'Party Down South' Star
Busted for Mardi Gras Burglary
2/24/2014 8:35 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
"Party Down South" star Lyle Boudreaux celebrated Mardi Gras in true redneck fashion -- in the pokey -- Louisiana cops busted him after he allegedly stole a credit card to fund his drunken revelry.
The police chief in Maurice, LA tells TMZ ... Boudreaux was at a Mardi Gras parade outside of Lafayette when he allegedly went into an unlocked car ... rifled through a purse in the car ... and stole a credit card from a wallet.
We're told Boudreaux tossed the wallet on the ground next to the car ... someone saw the whole thing and contacted the owner. Cops were called ... and found Lyle drinking at a nearby saloon. Cops say he used the credit card to open up a bar tab.
The 28-year-old was charged with burglary of a vehicle ... and eventually released on $10K bond.
Lyle needs that raise from CMT more than ever.
'Party Down South' Cast
CMT Plays Hardball ...
You Wanna Walk, There's The Door
2/20/2014 12:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The hard-drinking, hard-partying rednecks of "Party Down South" are a dime a dozen as far as CMT is concerned ... because the network is prepared to cut some of 'em loose if they can't agree on new contracts.
TMZ broke the story ... cast members are holding out for raises before Season 2 starts shooting. Right now they're only pulling down $500 per episode.
Sources close to the show tell us CMT had a conference call last Friday with the cast and their newly hired managers -- and one of the stars, Mattie Breaux, went off ... bitching about salaries, and a plan to shoot seasons 2 and 3 back-to-back.
We're told Mattie eventually hung up, but producers were unfazed -- and are now saying if Mattie wants to quit ... they won't stop her.
We've also learned the cast will get $1000 each to shoot a reunion episode next week ... and they're hoping the new contracts are signed by then.
Now, here's why we're all pulling for Tiffany to get a rise raise ...