Poor underpaid Drew Lachey

More shocking Hollywood news from a New York newspaper: networks aren’t paying C-listers big bucks to appear on reality shows!

As the New York Post reports — sharing what it heard on Howard Stern’s Sirius radio show after his girlfriend was asked to appear — celebs make a maximum of $245,000 for 8 weeks of work on “Dancing with the Stars.” However, even if they get kicked off after two weeks, they make a minimum of $125,000.

For the math impaired, that’s between $62,500 and $30,625 per episode.

Given that the average “Dancing with the Stars” contestant would otherwise be auditioning for voiceover work in video games, that certainly seems like a good payday. But as the New York Post breathlessly reminds us, it’s not that much given what a ratings success the show is:

Just for reference, Ray Romano – the highest-paid TV star of all time – took home nearly $2.3 million per episode last year for “Everybody Loves Raymond.” And “Dancing” had a bigger audience.

Newsflash, New York Post: Without Ray Romano, there would be no “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Plus, that show has a huge life in syndication, where is where the real money is in TV. I tend to hink we won’t be watching “Dancing with the Stars” between repeats of “Friends” and “The Simpsons” at 11:30 PM on our local Fox affiliate in three years.

And perhaps more importantly, the cast is totally interchangeable. Honestly, if Drew Lachey was replaced by Jeff Timmons or Justin Jeffrey (the other non-Nick Lachey members of 98 Degrees, not that I know that information offhand), would anyone out there have been less likely to tune in? Perhaps tabloids 3000 miles away should learn a little more about the TV business before they start opining on its pay scales.