I just read that Ellen Pompeo of grey's anatomy gets paid $350,000 per ep, and Jim parsons of Big bang theory gets $1,000,000 per ep.

You are watching: Why do actors get paid so much

Why do they get paid such a large amount of money? When did this start becoming the norm when TV shows began?

I guess 2 part question: But is the amount they get paid per EP already disclosed in their contract? I guess this question is for Hollywood HR. Do they make that much money in advertisements?


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It depends on the money which can be generated. With shows the money comes from advertising. If the show producers know they can earn advertising dollars then they are willing to pay big bucks.


The amount they get paid is negotiated. I suppose they're offered an amount and it goes from there. It depends on the actor, how experienced he or she is and how much the studio wants them. I believe with regards to BBT, all the leads get paid the same, and I think it was the same with Friends, because they protested the inequal pay.

Edit: It'll also be dependant on how many hours they'll be needed for I think.


Rates are negotiated by the actor's agent. . They would have a contract for this many episodes for the price, but it expires. On a show like Big Bang Theory, it is the most popular sitcom on TV, Jim Parsons is the highest paid TV actor, os it's certainly not the norm. But he's a big star and is likely getting movie offers or other shows. BBT has been running for quite a while and his contract has expired several times. The show doesn't knows that if he leaves, the show is over, so they are willing to meet his demands. This gives his agent quite the negotiating power.


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· 5y

This is a good answer because it focuses in on exactly why the highest-paid actors are able to demand so much. It's not just that they're popular or the show makes a lot of money, it's that they have other offers so studios are effectively bidding against each other to get top actors to sign on to their projects.

Even if an actor is very popular and a show is very profitable, the actor may not have leverage to demand top dollar if he doesn't have other opportunities. This can happen when an actor is strongly identified with a particular character or role. For example the actors in the Star Trek TV series were very popular but many of them had trouble finding work outside of Star Trek because studios didn't think people would accept them in other roles.


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· 5y

Television companies get paid by advertisers for delivering eyeballs during a show. A 30 second commercial might be worth $325,000 ($22 per 1,000 viewers and 14.7 million viewers) on a show like big bang theory, so the airing of the show produces about $5 million (16 ad slots at $325,000 each) in ad revenue, in addition syndication (when Big Bang Theory is shown on cable channels) produces additional revenue, then there's DVD sales, the brand name on tie in products, etc. Successful television shows can produce an enormous amount of money.

Since the television company earns so much money from the show; the actors, knowing that their efforts are responsible for much of the show's viewers, demand a healthy share of the revenue.


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· 5y

Salaries are based on popularity of show and level of star actor is... a highly rated show's top star can command a lot of money because the show makes a lot of money. In addition to the money the show makes when running new episodes, there are also long term streaming rights, syndication, etc. Think about how often Friends is on air, even 15-20 years after they aired. So paying those actors a lot then made sense as the shows keep generating money for decades.


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· 5y

A show like the BBT gets around $300k to $500k for a 30s ad slot. If there are 6 minutes of ads (there may be more) that is $4 to $6m in ad revenue per episode. That is money the network earns. The network also has to pay the production company that produces the show and in turn pays the actors, writers and crew.

The producers earn money by selling the show to a TV network. But the also earn money by selling box sets of DVDs, by streaming deals, by merchandising, and by selling syndication rights to old episodes as well as foreign licensing rights to show the dubbed episodes in other countries.

So there are a lot of different ways that a production company car earn money on a successful hit show, which in turn allows the actors the show depends on to charge a premium for their services.


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· 5y

Think of it like this:

TV/movie studios are corporations.

TV shows are the stores owned by the corporation.

Actors are the individual products purchased by the corporation to resell in their stores.

Commercials/ads are the money people pay to buy those products.

People go into a store (TV show), and discover a product (actor) that they really like. So they keep coming back to that store because they want to buy (commercials) more of that product. Ultimately this product helps generate a lot of money for the company. So the company spends more money (turning actors into millionaires) to market this product more to find more customers (viewers) until it's essentially a prominent exclusive product for the store (i.e. Jim Parsons being the face of Big Bang Theory).

Because of law of supply and demand, the high demand for this product increases the price the corporation has to pay to keep selling them.


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· 5y

When did this start becoming the norm when TV shows began?

It is not the norm. Those happen to be key actors on top rated, long running TV shows. An unknown lead actor on a new show will make closer to $20,000 per episode.

Do they make that much money in advertisements?

Usually, yes. The Big Bang Theory is a highly rated, long running show with a younger audience...advertisers will pay top dollar for that.

And even when advertising doesn't cover it, the show also gets money through syndication. A show like The Big Bang Theory is syndication gold...hundreds of light, funny, self contained episodes you can enjoy any time. It will be in reruns for the next 3 or 4 decades, and the actors in part are being paid for those future earnings.

See more: Trope Related To " Shown Their Work / Western Animation, Shown Their Work / Western Animation


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· 5y

The get paid a lot of money because they draw peoples' attention to the show and keep them watching it. The massive payouts pretty much started with Friends. And yes, that much money is made in advertisements and other profit areas. It's why when silly people watch a half-hour cable tv show they are watching ten minutes of commercials and 20 minutes of show.


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Op · 5y

wow thats insane, asking for 6 figures per episode... Wonder why they didnt just start low


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