In a market that’s as free as it gets, Hollywood is spiraling out of control with more money than sense.
As film and television industries become more saturated with similar ideas, networks are clawing at cash and notable names to make their show stand out from the crowd.
How many more variations of an indie, thrilling, dystopian, adventure, or a political crime drama can we really make?
We are thought to be in a ‘golden age’ of film, and this is certainly true for the actresses and actors caught up in eye the unregulated movie storm, while traditional, less known TV stars get tossed aside.
With more than 50 outlets now producing scripted original programmes, The Hollywood Reporter discussed the unfathomable salaries of our favourite TV stars, and the fierce competition fueling them.
Robert De Niro, one of Hollywood’s greats has turned to TV, raking in a whopping $75o,000 (£60,1781) for each of 20 episodes of an upcoming Amazon series produced by David O. Russell…that’s $15 million (£12,035,625) for one season!
The incredible Meryl Streep is getting paid $825,000 per episode of The Nix from J.J. Abrams, and the staggering salaries continue:
- Kiefer Sutherland is getting paid $300,000 per episode of Designated Survivor on ABC
- Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is getting paid $450,000 per episode of Ballers on HBO
- Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln are both getting paid $650,000 per episode of The Walking Dead for seasons seven and eight.
- Chris Rock will be getting paid $40 million for two stand-up comedy specials on Netflix
- Dave Chappelle‘s getting paid $60 million for just three stand-up specials on Netflix
- Emma Stone and Jonah Hill are each getting paid $350,000 per episode of Maniac, an upcoming series on Netflix
And then we have the big guns…
The A-tier stars of Game of Thrones (Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) banded together like a union of workers who aren’t happy with how many millions they currently have.
Recently concluded negotiations means that HBO will pay them each $1.1 million per episode of seasons seven and eight.
Henry Schafer, executive VP at brand specialist Q Scores, said:
Viewership is shrinking on a per-show basis, so what [these networks] are doing is trying to break through the crowd with big-star and big-ticket names.
We only have so much time to spend watching TV shows, and with the volume of originals projected to inch close to 500 next year, viewership is getting spread more thinly.
Let’s not forget how Amazon have made Jeremy Clarkson the highest paid TV host in Britain on £9.6m per year…
It seems that until networks back off from original series, the astronomical fees will continue to rocket because competitors battle to meet the selective demands of viewers.
The future of TV looks set to be a ruthless war for series, climbing the unreliable rungs of the laissez-faire film industry.
Hey, maybe they could make a TV show about that.