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  #1  
Old 01-08-2009, 09:32 AM
Wheelz Wheelz is offline
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How much does Jerry Seinfeld make on syndication?

While visiting my wife's family over the holidays, the conversation turned to wealthy celebrities, and one of my cousins-in-law stated, "Jerry Seinfeld gets a million dollars every time somebody airs an epispode of his show!"

Others nodded in agreement and appeared to take the assertion at face value, but of course it smelled completely bogus to me. If this were true, He'd be raking in over a half billion a year just from Chicago's FOX affiliate alone!

But I held my tounge, because:
- I've argued with these people before, and it's an exercise in fulility.
- The world is no worse a place if my wife's relatives believe this.
- I was Christmas, after all.
- But mostly because I really didn't know.

So, how much does Jerry pocket when I catch a Seinfeld rerun at 11:30 on a Tuesday night? How about the rest of the cast? Does it vary by market size?
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  #2  
Old 01-08-2009, 09:46 AM
Captain Amazing Captain Amazing is offline
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This might help?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/293643.stm

Quote:
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is the world's top earning entertainer, according to US business magazine Forbes.
Seinfeld and his collaborator Larry David beat film-maker Steven Spielberg into third position thanks to the proceeds from the sale of syndication rights to Seinfeld, which ended in the US in May 1998.

The duo earned $267m and $242m respectively from the $1.7bn sale, although they may not see the bulk of their money for some years to come.
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:56 AM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Moving to Cafe Society.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator
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  #4  
Old 01-08-2009, 10:04 AM
Cliffy Cliffy is offline
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Holy cow.

That covers what they sold the syndie **rights** to as owners of the show, but in addition to that they're also entitled to compensation every time the show airs -- Seinfeld as actor and both as writer (at least as to eps they have a writing credit on; I don't know how it works for head writers who don't have their name on a particular ep).

But it ain't a million dollars. It's typically a rather small amount -- likely they got better deals as time went on and they negotiated higher rates for later seasons, but it's still not much per episode. It's just that they get their cut any time any episode airs anywhere.

Interestingly, there was a Seinfeld episode about this -- the one where a clip of his performance was incorporated into the credits of a Japanese game show, so that he got a tiny residual check every time it aired -- something like a dollar thirty -- and his hand cramped from signing them all. Certainly he makes a lot more than that per ep, but not an astronomical sum. (Also in an early Curb Your Enthusiasm HBO just re-ran this week, a guy asks Larry David if he gets money every time a rerun of Seinfeld airs, and he says yes.)

--Cliffy
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:08 AM
jk1245 jk1245 is offline
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The million dollars an episode is a half-truth. That's what he got back when the show was in first run.

Also, he and Larry David sold the syndication rights (for $1.7 billion), so they get nothing from that now when shows air. They still get some money from the show in residuals, but nowhere near the astronomical amounts mentioned.

Last edited by jk1245; 01-08-2009 at 10:10 AM.. Reason: lots o' typos
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  #6  
Old 01-08-2009, 10:57 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Apparently you can get good money for residuals but not megamillions. I couldn't find figures for Seinfeld but Marc Cherry, who created the series The Golden Girls, got about $75,000 a year in residuals for that show. For individual broadcasts, I found mention of actor Richard Herd getting $39 every time an episode of MASH he guess-starred in is shown. Shelley Michelle, an actress and body double, gets $70 to $250 every time one of her movies is shown. Michelle was in Rising Sun in 1993 (she was the nude sushi girl) and she's received $15,000 in residuals for that movie.

One of the articles I found this information in says that the total of all residuals paid out in 2006 was $264,000,000 but a different article (which was calling the residual system burdensome) said that total residuals equal $2,000,000,000 a year. But either way, if Seinfeld was collecting the kind of money your relatives claim, there would be nothing going to anyone else.
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Old 01-08-2009, 01:44 PM
Wheelz Wheelz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
But either way, if Seinfeld was collecting the kind of money your relatives claim, there would be nothing going to anyone else.
Yep -- I knew the million-per-airing claim was crazy wrong, but I had no idea what the true figure was to counter with.

I think it's safe to say he gets more than 39 bucks a pop, though. But even at that figure, given all the local TV markets, TBS, and so on, he'd take in what most of us working stiffs would consider a very comfortable living.

** Heavy Sigh **
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:25 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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The other actors did not agree to go out and promote the DVDs when they came out because they were not getting any money from DVD sales. They did eventually make a deal where they got paid and so they started making the rounds of talk shows, etc. promoting the DVDs

Last edited by Bijou Drains; 01-08-2009 at 05:26 PM..
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:40 PM
Cliffy Cliffy is offline
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The deal was actually to participate in the making of the DVD's.

--Cliffy
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  #10  
Old 01-08-2009, 10:48 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Quote:
Yep -- I knew the million-per-airing claim was crazy wrong, but I had no idea what the true figure was to counter with.

I think it's safe to say he gets more than 39 bucks a pop, though. But even at that figure, given all the local TV markets, TBS, and so on, he'd take in what most of us working stiffs would consider a very comfortable living.
Let's say that Seinfeld gets a hundred dollars for each broadcast and the show is broadcast a hundred times a day - both probably low estimates. Seinfeld is making at least $10,000 a day for doing nothing (no pun intended).
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