I got this email today:
love your blog. could you give me a rough ballpark range of how much money a show creator makes when the successful show hits 100 episodes and goes into
syndication. 5 mil? 25 mil? 50 mil? is it based on a percentage of what they pay for the rights?
It all depends on how good a deal the creator’s agent managed to strike for his client when they did the pilot. It also depends on how big a hit the show is and how much it sells for in syndication. What a creator makes could be any of those figures you mention…or much, much more…or much, much less.
For instance, the creator of TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT probably didn’t make as much as Larry David did on SEINFELD, though both sitcoms reached 100 episodes and went into syndication, . JAKE AND THE FATMAN ran for five years…but has never been in syndication. IT TAKES A THIEF ran only three seasons but has been rerunning for decades.