As the streaming boom continues, TV star salaries are exploding.
According to a new report from Variety, a number of actors have joined the elite club of stars earning $1 million or more an episode.
Among those actors are “The Morning Show” stars Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon each made over $1 million an episode of the flagship Apple TV+ drama.
Their co-star Steve Carell is also set to make $1 million for his upcoming Netflix comedy “Space Force”. Also joining the $1-million-an-episode ranks are Jeff Bridges for the Hulu series “The Old Man”, Kerry Washington for her Hulu series “Little Fires Everywhere”, and Harrison Ford in the series “The Staircase”.
“At this particular moment in time there’s a feeding frenzy,” Fremantle’s president of scripted entertainment Dante De Loreto told Variety. “There’s a lot of money that has been dropped into the television universe because of new companies entering the market and a desire to make an impact really quickly.”
Part of the rise in TV salaries has to do with the medium’s emergence as prestige entertainment.
“Every actor is available now. They used to say, ‘No interest in TV.’ You can’t say that anymore,” one Hollywood agent said. “There are certain people who won’t do broadcast, and people who won’t do basic cable. But I wouldn’t even take someone like Leonardo DiCaprio off the table. Why wouldn’t Leo do an eight-episode limited series? It’s as good as a movie.”
It’s also widely believed that if an actor like DiCaprio were to do a series, Hollywood could see TV salaries rise to upward of $2 million an episode.