Thursday, August 12, 2010

What do the stars earn?

TVGuide has posted a list of the 'top earners' in TV. David Boreanaz is listed in the middle as a 'modest' $200,000/episode (definitely modest compared to some on there!).

I do think this is more a sampling of salaries rather than a 'top earners' list. It looks like they are picking only one star from most shows to demonstrate the different salaries stars can command based on popularity, i.e. ratings. I would think that if Emily Deschanel doesn't match him exactly in earnings, she is really close!

Thanks, Emilie, for the link!

20 comments:

Cheng said...

Ooh, interesting. I've been wondering about that. It's a lot for us laypeople, but I think some of the shows with higher-paid actors have lower ratings, so I guess he's actually not being paid that much. Does that include his work as a producer too? Emily's salary better match his! Otherwise, it would be unfair.

Andrea Diaz said...

I don't know why some of these actors are getting paid so much money! That's unbelievable. I mean over 1 million dollars for Charlie Sheen for Two and a Half Men? I think David Boreanaz is a much better actor as well as is Emily Deschanel than many of these others on the list! But still $200,000 is quite a lot and DB and ED certainly work hard enough on a tough show like Bones-I think they definitely earn their paycheck while some of these other actors are grossly overpaid!

Stephanie said...

Some of them are grossly overpaid, yeah, but when you take out all the different types of taxes and the 10% their agents earn and maybe various other fees (I'm not sure who else gets a cut of an actor's paycheck,) for some of these actors, this probably isn't anywhere near what they actually take home. Still more than most people make, I'm sure, but just something to remember.

And I would sure hope Emily's salary matches David's! Though I'm thinking maybe it doesn't since only David was listed here, while both of the SVU leads were listed together...I'm interested in what the rest of the cast makes. I've always known David would probably make the most, but I've also always wondered what the difference between David and, say, TJ or Michaela is.

Anonymous said...

Apparently Emily, who is not even on the list that finishes at $30K, earns around 1/10 of David.
I could assume she was earning less, due to the fact that when they signed the contract in 2005 he was popular and she was not. But such a huge difference is so unfair, especially after 6 years.
I do hope there is another reason why she is not on this list.

Anonymous said...

"Modest"? Boreanaz is no.12 on a list of 41 drama actors. He's the 2nd highest paid actor on FOX (after Hugh Laurie's well-deserved $400,000/ep).
In this category, the ones who make more money are under contract with ABC or NBC for franchises like CSI, L&O, NCIS or Grey's... a whole different league rating wise.
As for Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer) and Denis Leary (Rescue Me), lower ratings I suppose, but they have movie star credits. The same goes for the overpaid Charlie Sheen. The movie star status worked also for Kiefer Sutherland, Rob Lowe, Alec Baldwin etc.
On the other hand, David makes more than Chris O'Donnell (NCIS:LA), Michael Weatherly (NCIS), Joe Mantegna, Thomas Gibson (Criminal Minds), Nathan Fillion (Castle) or award winner Jon Hamm (Mad Men).
DB earns the same amount of money as Duchovny (a former FOX star, currently a cable star).

Bottom line: on FOX, Laurie ($400,000/episode, over 8 million/year) is currently the highest paid drama star. Boreanaz ($200,000/episode, over 4 million/year) is the second highest paid.
Not surprisingly considering he's been under contract with FOX for 14 consecutive years by now, with 3 long running series. For the network, it's about what credits and following you bring to the table.
That's why I don't think Emily matches him in terms of earnings (see above: credits, as in number of successful/long series, status and following), although she must be close. If she would be on a par with David, she would have been listed along with him (like Hargitay & Meloni). But she definitely makes more than $30,000. Probably $100,000-150,000.

Stephanie said...

To the first Anon - I highly doubt that every drama actor who isn't on the list makes under $30,000 an episode. They probably just went with the highest paid actor from each show and listed them. For example - Patrick Dempsey is the only person from Grey's Anatomy on the list, and there's just absolutely no way that he's the only one out of that HUGE cast making over 30 grand an episode after 6 years on the air.

There's only one show that has 2 different salaries listed (Hawaii Five-O.) Every other show is just listed once (with the expection of NCIS: LA, but both of their listings have the same amount next to the actors' names.) I imagine Emily probably places somewhere in the middle of the list, but they can't list everyone.

andrea Diaz said...

I think just because Emily wasn't on the list doesn't mean she earns less that $30,000 per ep. I think the list is just to show comparisons in pay between television actors. For instance Stana Kanik from Castle wasn't on the list but Nathan Fillino was. Nor was Chris Noth from the Good Wife but Julianna Marguiles was. Though Emily probably didn't earn as much as David did when the series first started, she more than made up with not being initially known with her current popularity and her immense talent! I'm sure her current pay should reflect this. And yes, Stephanie, I understand that many fees are taken from an actor's pay, but don't you just think that some actors really work hard and are "worth" the big bucks and some are just overrated?!!!

andrea Diaz said...

I think just because Emily wasn't on the list doesn't mean she earns less that $30,000 per ep. I think the list is just to show comparisons in pay between television actors. For instance Stana Kanik from Castle wasn't on the list but Nathan Fillino was. Nor was Chris Noth from the Good Wife but Julianna Marguiles was. Though Emily probably didn't earn as much as David did when the series first started, she more than made up with not being initially known with her current popularity and her immense talent! I'm sure her current pay should reflect this. And yes, Stephanie, I understand that many fees are taken from an actor's pay, but don't you just think that some actors really work hard and are "worth" the big bucks and some are just overrated?!!!

Anonymous said...

I think Emily should earn more then David because the lines she hs to study are way more difficult. They are both good actors but to me I think in a fair world she would deserve more, nontheless it's her that is the Name of the Series :)))

I agree with others that some are overpaid...

Anja

Anonymous said...

^ is there a tv show called Emily? 'cause I'm watchin' Bones :-)

Emily does play the title character, but she is less popular and less experienced than David.
You could argue the popularity - but the active users on forums represent a rather small percentage of the whole fanbase and a very, very small percentage of the 9 million viewers.
The experience as leading actor cannot be argued:
Bones is Emily's first.
Before Bones, David had an impactful role on Buffy - a breakthrough series - and the title/leading role on Angel, a series that lasted 5 seasons and reached the 100th milestone.
That's the reason he makes more money and is actually a bigger tv star than her.
You don't have to like it, it doesn't have to be fair. Movie and tv industry is not about fairness and has its own set of rules.
People don't get to be fired or hired, they don't get a cut, neither a raise, they're not taken down, neither promoted 'cause 100 users want to.
Actors are being fired like the girl on Criminal Minds 'cause the executives decided so. They don't get to be hired again even if a 50,000 petition has been signed. Fans opinion don't matter at all in a studio's decision.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but thats what I wanted to say, that it is Bones that is in the title of the series, I'm not a native english speaker and I'm sorry I made it not 100% clear.
Otherway I like David a lot, but I just think Emily should earn more than him, just my oppinion. And I understand he is much more popular and well known, it has already been put out that he is in contract with FOX for so many year so that counts to.

Anja

Stephanie said...

I think Bones is probably one of the rare cases where the title star of the show isn't the biggest name in the cast. When they originally started, the show was called "Brennan" and the plan was to only have David in about half the episodes, so it really was designed to be Brennan/Emily's show. In most cases, the actress who landed that title role would've been the most well-known of the cast, so the salary question wouldn't have even been an issue, but that wasn't what happened here. I would argue popularity now, but their pay has probably been set since they signed the contracts in Season One.

I think I was surprised to find out Emily doesn't make as much as David does (we're assuming) because they've always seemed to try pretty hard over at Bones to treat David & Emily as equals. For example, they have a dual credit in the opening titles rather than one of them getting top billing over the other, and they gave Emily a producer's credit when David got his, even though they didn't have to do that. So because of all of that, and the fact that the show was built around Emily's character, I think it seems like they should be pretty equal in terms of pay as well.

chillip said...

i suspect emily does pretty well and that both of their producing salaries don't factor in. also, they may or may not have the same deal on residuals.

the interesting thing i was made aware of recently (due to fox holding the super bowl hostage during negotiation with cable outfits) is that the "big 4" traditional networks are at a financial disadvantage to networks like tnt, usa, etc. given the way cable revenue is derived. that's one reason why conan went to tnt instead of fox -- tnt could pay better (i was surprised).

so the big networks are going to reward their heavy hitters the best they can. a show like two and a half men is a cash cow so sheen can get the money.

i'm just glad no one on bones has pulled a contract holdout yet -- that to me means that the members of the cast are being taken care of financially. it's seems very much a pleasant and family-like atmosphere there so in some ways this isn't surprising.

Suhara said...

Emily's salary better match up to David's! She is just as amazing an actress, if not better, than David! Doesn't seem like David to accept higher pay than Emily......

Anonymous said...

To all the posters who say that Emily should make as much or more than David. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING!!!! David was a big star before this show and Emily was a nobody. In the beginning a lot of woman started to watch this show only because of David. I do agree that ED is perfect in this role, but her making equal or more salary. NO WAY.

Yssel said...

I'm a woman, I have never watched Buffy nor Angel (and I am not interested in doing it), and I started watching Bones since the pilot.
And I have become a fan because of Emily and Brennan's charachter. Not David. Not Booth.
I understand that David was already popular and more experienced than her at the beginning. So I get it that he could strike, at the time, a better deal than Emily.
It's legitim.
But right now, Emily is performing great, last year all the promotion was basically on her shoulders as David was passing through a difficult personal period.
So, her earning less than him it's perfectly understandable but yet unfair afer 6 years, when she works as hard as him, and without her the show, now, at season 6, would not even be on air.
But that's Hollywood and its market rules. I believe there is no intentional and personal issue here. It's just the way deals are set in that job environment.

To the Anon here above, let's please just stop saying that it was David bringing in ratings. I get that you're David's fans, but all Bones fans are.
The first episodes were awful with ratings, and the show gained popularity well after season1, so the popularity they have now is thanks to the efforts of ALL actors, writers and crew of the show.
David in the end is also benefitting of having a great co-star, and solid ensamble cast. And good scripts.
And if someone is costing plenty of extra money to Fox for lawyers and threatening the good name of the show, it's David.
Let's stop the worship. he does not deserve it.
Good actor, good director, good looking. Nothing more.

Anonymous said...

@Yssel. If you can recall I said a lot of women, not all women. There is a DIFFERENCE. You obviously don't like David, but that's OK, we all have our favorites.

Anonymous said...

i think the salary difference was fair during the time of contract signing. however, like any job, i think that raises should be considered, and duly given, after a period of time where there's been good job performance and hard work. acting is just another job and should be no different.

Anonymous said...

OK OK PEOPLE they are co-stars Co-leads true the show is called BONES but who gave her the nickname and who is the only one in the WHOLE WORLD apart from little PB that calls Brennan BONES.......................I'll give you a minute to think....................................I think they should be paid the same :) It's Booth by the way:)

Anonymous said...

Right BOOTH is the one that calls her BONES so the fact that shes the title charter does not stack up.DB ED are co-leads hope they get paid the same:)

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