‘Seinfeld’ is a monster that continues to turn in profits, even years later thanks to their new deals with the likes of Netflix, a deal, not all fans are completely happy with. One would assume the cast made a fortune on the show, given its popularity, however, that wasn’t always the case, particularly for the guest stars and at the start, some of the main cast.
Among those that made a fortune on the show include Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David – the duo are still bringing the coin thanks to their outstanding back-end deal.
As it turns out, the supporting characters weren’t so lucky with this. We’ll take a look at Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her pay raise on the show. She wasn’t completely happy with the circumstances and we’ll explain why.
Jerry Seinfeld Made The Most
Ultimately, the star of the show Jerry Seinfeld made a fortune thanks to the program. He saw a big raise in his pay along the way, starting off at $20,000 for the first five episodes of season one. Down the road, that would change as the show became more and more successful, during seasons two and three, he climbed up to $40,000 while racking in $100K for seasons for 4,5, and 6, per episode.
During the final season, Jerry once again upped his salary, bringing in $1 million per episode, he was the first TV star to do so, even before the cast of ‘Friends’.
In truth, Jerry could’ve profited even more so, had there been an additional season. Seinfeld was offered a whopping $110 million, though given that he was already filthy rich and that it was time for the show to end, he didn’t think twice about the decision.
“I remember when I was in the ninth season and I was thinking maybe it’s time to wrap this up, and I remember inviting Michael [Richards] and Julia [Louis-Dreyfus] and Jason [Alexander] to my dressing room and we all just sat there and we stared at each other.”
“We’ve had a lot of good fortune here. Maybe we shouldn’t push our luck too far. And we all agreed that this was the right moment,” he continued. “And I remember it’s the only time we all got together in a dressing room, the four of us, to make that decision. That was powerful, I remember that… I remember because as soon as we all agreed, that was it. You know, if the four of us agreed, I know it wasn’t going to go further.”
As it turns out, the deal wasn’t one similar to the cast of ‘Friends’ and the other three stars on the show wound up making much less for their contributions.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Asked For A Huge Raise Due To Failed Back-End Profits
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, and Michael Richards had different experiences when it came to the negations. The three asked for the same amount of money as Jerry, while also seeking benefits for the backend. As Alexander explained alongside Celebrity Net Worth, that did not come to fruition.
“Julia, Michael, and I, during our big renegotiation for the final year, asked for something that I will go to my grave saying we should have had, and that is back-end participation in the profits for the show. It was categorically denied to us, which forced us to then ask for ungodly salaries. We make very little, standard Screen Actors Guild residuals for the reruns.”
There was a bit of animosity given how the negations went and ultimately, given that there were no back-end profits, the three made sure to get a quality salary per episode. The show has proposed $200,000 and $400,000 in return but instead, they reached an agreement at $600,000.
Turns out, they had a right to be furious at the lack of back-end pay, especially given how much Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld profited.
Jerry And Larry David Made Million Thanks To Syndication Rights
The supporting cast, which includes Julia, is making some profit off the show re-runs, however, it does not compare to what they could’ve made, had they earned equity ownership points on the show, similar to Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld.
The duo cashed in and then some, in 1998 alone they pocked each $250 million… That number one only increases, as thus far, they’ve both made a near $800 million, thanks to sales, merchandise deals, and of course, streaming on platforms like Hulu and Netflix.
The supporting cask could’ve been a lot richer had they got a chunk of this.