September 26, 2003 02:21 PM

Despite reports that the guys on “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” are angry about their paltry $3,000-per-episode salary, they will be keeping their jobs.

The Hollywood Reporter says the Fab Five — Carson Kressley, Thom Filicia, Jai Rodriguez, Ted Allen and Kyan Douglas — are close to signing a renewal deal for a second season with their network, the NBC-owned Bravo.

Scout Productions, creator of the hit makeover series, is also said to be laying the groundwork with Bravo for a hefty order of about 40 new episodes.

“Queer” kicked off with 13 episodes in July and instantly became a critics’ darling (despite carping in some quarters about stereotypes). The Reporter says Bravo had already ordered as many as seven additional episodes that will start shooting next week.

“We won’t be shutting off the ‘Queer Eye’ production engine for quite a while,” David Collins, the show’s co-creator and executive producer, tells the trade paper, which adds that Kressley, Filicia, Rodriguez, Allen and Douglas have formed a unified front to nab a hefty salary boost from Bravo and Scout.

The quintet is expected to get raises beyond the 5 percent annual called for in their current contracts (though no estimates have been reported).

Interestingly enough, however, “Queer Eye”‘s ratings recently have taken a hit from FX’s drama “Nip/Tuck,” which also shares the 10 p.m. Tuesday timeslot.

Last week, “Queer Eye” attracted 2.4 million total viewers after snaring 2.8 million the previous week, says Nielsen Media Research. Another factor contributing to the slip may have been the absence of the lead-in show “Boy Meets Boy,” a Bravo original series that has ended its run.

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