View Full Version : Salary for TV Star?

Juno Styles
01-25-2016, 01:43 PM
Does anyone know how much the star of a television show on a premium channel like HBO or Cinemax would make on average?

Juno Styles
01-25-2016, 01:44 PM
Now that I think about it maybe this belongs in the other section about Business questions and Advice?

01-25-2016, 02:01 PM
You can check out the SAG/AFTRA rate sheet (http://www.sagaftra.org/rate-sheet-television-sag-aftra) to get a feel for the ranges, but if you're talking an actual star then it can be a lot, especially for a hit show. It's not unheard of for the leads on a hit network sitcom to make $1 million per episode. The stars on Game of Thrones reportedly (http://deadline.com/2014/10/game-of-thrones-cast-salary-raises-season-7-1201268049/)make something like $300,000 per episode. But again, that's a huge show and most of the leads are big names (or at least they are now). So it really depends on what you mean by "star."

01-25-2016, 02:09 PM
I'm not sure that taking the salary of the lead actor from Silicon Valley and the lead actor from True Detective and picking a number halfway in between is going to be meaningful.

If Bill Gates walks into a homeless shelter with 70 transients, the "average" person in the shelter has a net worth of more than a billion dollars.

Juno Styles
01-25-2016, 03:01 PM
Cool yea I guess an example of what I'm talking about is someone maybe people have seen before but not quite know his or her name. Maybe a show like Spartacus on Starz channel or even someone like Charlie Cox on Netflix for the show Daredevil.

Not necessarily a star with a big name or long list of starring roles in moves, etc. I mean moreso the lead of the show that's in its first or second season with good ratings.

01-25-2016, 03:21 PM
You might be better off thinking of a couple of specific actors and seeing if you can find out approximately what they're making per episode (google around, it's actually out there pretty often), since as Staircaseghost mentioned it's a pretty wide range. It'll vary a ton based on how big the star is, how popular the show is, and how good the actor's reps are.

01-30-2016, 01:13 PM
Does anyone know how much the star of a television show on a premium channel like HBO or Cinemax would make on average?

It's hugely variable.

I think for the stars on a new sitcom, people who aren't household names, they're signing a contract that's paying in the ballpark of $30k an episode. The more well-known they are before the show goes on the air, the higher that will be.

Bear in mind that salary is subject to residuals. e.g., I believe they get that full salary again for the first network rerun (although network reruns are increasingly becoming a thing of the past).

However, despite the fact that TV actors are generally signed to something like seven-season contracts, everybody renegotiates. e.g., the stars of Friends were only a couple of seasons in when they all started making $1m an episode. I doubt that number has moved up very much for today's stars (inflation being countered by the shrinking network audience) but I don't really know. I know Scrubs, in its final years, kept costs down by having most of the cast not appear in every episode.

So if you wanted to estimate the pay range as being from $30k-$1m per episode, you'd probably at least be in the ballpark. It's a really big ballpark, though.

Cable and premium-online pay less than network, though.