Top Hollywood stars including Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro are cashing in on the so-called Golden Age of Television as more than 50 TV outlets are now creating scripted original programs. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that as distributors compete to attract talent, prices have been skyrocketing.
“Meryl Streep is said to have commanded a whopping $825,000 per episode to sign on for J.J. Abrams’ Warner Bros. TV miniseries ‘The Nix,’ which has yet to land at a network,” the story reports.
“Robert De Niro is getting $750,000 for each of 20 episodes of an upcoming Amazon series produced by filmmaker David O. Russell,” THR adds. “Kiefer Sutherland is said to be getting around $300,000 per episode to star in ABC’s fall hit ‘Designated Survivor,’ the highest pay ever for an actor on a first-year broadcast network series.”
The report also notes: “Many on the network side blame Netflix, which will spend upward of $6 billion on original content this year and which kicked off the spree in 2013 with a $100 million commitment for two seasons of Kevin Spacey’s ‘House of Cards.’ In March, Netflix picked up a package for a reboot of the Norwegian comedy series ‘Maniac,’ with Jonah Hill and Emma Stone set to make $350,000 for each of 10 episodes. Netflix beat HBO to pay Chris Rock $20 million each for two stand-up comedy specials.”
Big names don’t guarantee success, THR notes, quoting an agent saying: “It could be like ‘House of Cards’ or it could be like Woody Allen’s Amazon show.”