For most television series, actors earn different amounts for their on-set roles. Also, if the shows run for multiple seasons, it implies that they will get the same amount or receive an increase depending on the commercial success of the series.
In some cases, the earning continues after the show ends. Some enjoy reruns after being purchased by a streaming service or redistributed in various formats, such as DVDs. Given this, many actors still earn residual income called royalties if they are written into their contracts before starring on the show.
Ultimately, some royalties come down to an amount that could set the actor down for life. Here are four shows that are still earning their actors huge paychecks.
One of the biggest shows that aired from the late 90s to the early 2000s was “Friends“The sitcom was created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman and ran for ten seasons on NBC. Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow and Jennifer Aniston have starred on the show.
The series was not only a commercial success, but made the featured stars more famous than they could have ever imagined. To this day, viewers around the world are still revisiting the show on streaming platforms to get a taste of the nostalgia they felt during the height of its airing.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that the main cast still receive annual checks paid for by the showrunners. According to USA Today, Warner Bros., which owns the rights to the series, earns $1 billion a year from “Friends.” Afterwards, the stars of the shows receive 2% of this amount, which is equivalent to $20 million.
“Seinfeld” was another late ’90s show that captivated sitcom fans. It ran from 1989 to 1998, with nine seasons and 180 episodes. The series starred Jerry Seinfeld as himself, George Costanza (Jason Alexander), Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), and Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards).
One striking feature was how fans fell in love with watching Seinfeld go about his daily life in comedic fashion. Today, the series remains one of the most influential sitcoms of all time. Surprisingly, Seinfeld also acted as a creator alongside co-creator Larry David and an array of talented directors.
Following the series’ success, Seinfeld and David made huge sums per syndication cycle. According to New York Magazines, this amount could climb up to $400 million, making it one of the highest royalties an actor receives in a show.
‘Two and a half men’
Watching Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones star in “Two and a Half Men” was one of the major sitcom world highlights of the early 2000s. of comedy throughout his time on the show.
However, the happy acting triangle broke following Sheen’s public spat with CBS. Sheen was fired from the show after playing the lead role for seven seasons. Although CBS cited moral turpitude as the main reason for the painful divorce, Sheen’s personal issues subtly influenced their decision to let him go.
After his firing, Cryer and Jones signed new contracts, and Ashton Kutcher later replaced Sheen in his role. Despite terminating his contract, Sheen earned another $100 million from the show before selling his profit-sharing rights for $27 million in 2016.
Kutcher, Cryer and Jones haven’t been left behind either, with the trio still receiving steady paychecks from CBS, regardless of when the show ended more than five years ago.
One of the most expensive TV shows produced in the 90s was “Frasier.” The series originates from “Cheers” and continues the story of psychiatrist Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer), after he returns to his hometown of Seattle to start a life as a radio show host.
The show also starred Martin (John Mahoney) as Crane’s father and Niles (David Hyde Pierce) as his brother and a fellow psychiatrist. Other key cast members include Peri Gilpin as Roz Doyle and Jane Leeves as Daphne Moon, Martin’s resident caretaker.
Although details about the actors’ salaries and royalties are unknown, Mahoney gave fans a hint in a 2004 interview with the Chicago Tribune. The outlet referenced the actor’s comment about his salary and other royalties saying, “there’s enough in the bank to make sure he never has to work on anything again.” he would prefer not to.”