"Will & Grace" (search) might be about to take a pay cut.
The aging NBC (search) sitcom's producers are close to signing a deal with the network that would significantly lower the licensing fee they are paid to produce the show, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
It is estimated that NBC paid producers David Kohan and Max Mutchnick about $5 million an episode this season.
But insiders told The Post yesterday that it is likely all four might be asked to take a pay cut, too, in order to keep the series on the air — a move the actors may not agree with.
Messing and McCormack reportedly pulled down around $400,000 an episode each this past season.
Hayes and Mullally are said to have been paid slightly less.
All four might be reluctant to call it quits, though — especially Messing, who has a newborn son and a comfortable work schedule with the show, an industry source said.
Negotiations between Mutchnick, Kohan and NBC have been strained of late. The producers slapped the network with a lawsuit in 2003, claiming that NBC had shortchanged them the last time they negotiated the network's licensing deal.
The lawsuit is still pending.
"Will & Grace" is NBC's best-performing sitcom with wealthy, young viewers, a recent study found.
But critics say the show has suffered creatively of late by relying heavily on guest stars like Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. to pump of the ratings, instead of the sharp comedy it became known for originally.