TV & FILM

What 'Desperate Housewives' Taught Eva Longoria About Negotiating Her Salary

"You can only negotiate from a place of power."

ABC's hit show "Desperate Housewives" didn't just kick Eva Longoria's career into high gear -- it taught her invaluable lessons about negotiating a salary, she told HuffPost Live.

The actress sat down with host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani last week and discussed finalizing her contract for the popular show. Longoria said she leaned on her female co-stars, who were much more experienced with the business side of the industry at the time.

"The first real negotiation I had to do was [for] 'Housewives,' and I was lucky to be surrounded by a Felicity Huffman and a Marcia Cross and women who … all had hit shows," she said. "Teri [Hatcher] had a hit show. Marcia had a hit show. I was just under their wings [and] learning from them and they were business savvy."

By the end of the series' eight-season run, the stars of the show were reportedly raking in roughly $325,000 per episode, but Longoria was quick to note that securing such a massive salary isn't so easy:

We negotiated together whenever we had to go [figure out our contracts], but you know, you can only negotiate from a place of power. That's probably the misconception about a lot of TV stars today, it's like, "Oh, renegotiate!" Well, only if [you have] like a super, mega hit show can you do that. And we were back then, and it was nice to have that leverage and power.

And nowadays it's even tougher, the "Telenovela" star added. The changing television landscape, propelled by the widespread use of online platforms, has made it difficult to rank a show's popularity and therefore leverage that success in negotiations.

"It's very hard to do that now with the ratings going down with different ways to view content," she said. "The way you distribute content, it's hard to track. It's hard to rate. What's the metric system? What's the barometer? What's successful? What is not successful? It's all kind of gray now, so it's hard to know where your leverage is today."

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Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with Eva Longoria here

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