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Jason Sudeikis, Kevin Costner and More of Television’s Highest Paid Stars’ Salaries Revealed

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With the influx of A-list movie stars moving over to television for episodic projects, the high-end of TV paychecks are only getting bigger!

While it used to be news when sitcom stars like Charlie Sheen, the cast of Friends, the stars of The Big Bang Theory and others renegotiated contracts to get $1 million per episode, that sort of financial commitment used to be based on the performance of the show itself.

However, with Oscar-winners lending their talents — and their prestige — to gritty dramas and award-worthy limited series orders, some stars are taking home million-dollar salaries for their first or second seasons, before the show’s even had a chance to establish itself.

Recently, Variety broke down some of the astronomical paychecks TV stars are earning, and the numbers are surprising.

According to the report, Kevin Costner is possibly the highest-paid actor on TV, taking home $1.3 million per episode for his performance in Yellowstone. It’s a number only rivaled by Mahershala Ali, who is reportedly getting around $1.3 million for his role on The Plot, which is set to air on Hulu and has not yet premiered.

Meanwhile, Elisabeth Moss has also moved into the highest ranks of paycheck earners for her new series Shining Girls for Apple TV+, taking home $1.1 million. 

Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren are also taking home big bucks, earning $1 million per episode for their roles in the Yellowstone prequel series 1923. Michael Keaton is reportedly earning the same for his award-winning performance in Hulu’s drama miniseries Dopesick, as is Sylvester Stallone for his role in the upcoming series Tulsa King.

The Shrink Next Door co-stars Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd are both taking home $1 million per episode as well, and the only comedy star to be a part of the Million Per Episode Club is Jason Sudekis for leading the critically beloved series Ted Lasso.

ET spoke with Variety TV Editor Michael Schneider, who penned the report, and he explained why so many stars are commanding such large paydays.

“We’re seeing more million-dollar paydays, partly, because it’s a nice round number, and also these days episodes are normally about eight to 10 for a series, which allows big stars, A-list stars, who don’t wanna be bogged down with doing an entire 22-episode season of television to actually come and do some television,” Schneider explained. “So, when they’re doing eight to 10 episodes, that’s sort of roughly the equivalent of doing a movie.”

With regards to Costner’s sizable salary, Schneider said he doesn’t “think it’s a surprise at all.”

“First off, Yellowstone is a tremendous hit. It’s one of the biggest shows on television right now and Kevin Costner is, of course, the leading force behind that show,” Schneider said. “He’s a movie star, he’s now a TV star, he’s been around for a long time, he’s the kind of person that fetches a pretty penny when working, so when you want to get a star like Kevin Costner, you’ve got to open up the pocketbook from the beginning.”

 

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Sympatico, Malaysia-U.K. Venture, Launches Asian Film, TV Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

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Sympatico, a production partnership combining the U.K.’s Argo Films and Malaysia’s Double Vision, is hatching a busy slate of film and TV productions that it says will be authentically Asian.

“Too often, Southeast Asia has been portrayed in a mix of styles on screen with, for example, iconic establishing shots of Kuala Lumpur ‘s Twin Towers soon giving way to a location that resembles Vietnam, mixed with Hong Kong by way of Vancouver,” said Min Lim, head of production at Double Vision and a partner in Sympatico.

The new venture starts life with six projects in active development, including two that it expects to put into production this year.

Double Vision is the production arm of the Vision New Media group that has over 35 years of experience in features, dramas, sitcoms, reality-game shows, magazine shows, documentaries, children’s programs and variety shows. Double Vision has in-house production and post-production facilities, earned an International Emmy nomination for its hit Malaysian-Filipino coproduction “Kahit Isang Saglit” and was responsible for Asian versions of hit global drama series “The Bridge” and “Liar.”

Argo is a newer company formed by veteran U.K. film and high-end scripted TV producer Richard Johns (“Shadow of the Vampire,” “Like Minds” and “The Calcium Kid”). The company recently completed “The Shepherd,” starring John Travolta for Disney+, with writer-director Iain Softley, and co-producers Alfonso Cuaron and Bill Kenwright. It is in paid development on “Biafra,” working in partnership with David Oyelowo’s Yoruba Saxon and Fremantle.

“We actually started three years, after an introduction by Fremantle. And have done a great deal of development during the COVID period,” Lim told Variety.

“We will finance development ourselves and will then go out and get project finance. There is soft money available in Malaysia and we also intend to make use of other forms of financing such as gap that are not fully exploited in this region.

“Strategically, Southeast Asia is certainly a region to watch and well-placed to deliver ‘the next big thing’. Not only do territories such as Malaysia have their own unique culture, people and locations but it also has an industrious and skilled production sector and a highly competitive film and TV production incentive,” said Johns in a statement.

“After exploring the region’s potential for myself and knowing Min’s vision and determination to work these assets in the international marketplace, Sympatico is on course to deliver some cracking scripted content with the sort of high production values, distinctive stories and universal themes that are essential for broadcasters and streamers.”

The pair say that projects are intended to be authentic and entertaining, smash stereotypes and organically integrate East and West with the finished products aimed at global audiences.

In production terms, that points to a Malaysia-set production being filmed in the country with characters who speak proper Malay. Asian characters will be true and equal leads in stories that are as much about them and their country as it is about their Western counterparts. To achieve that, every title on the Sympatico slate has both Southeast Asian and British writers.

Projects in development include:

Limited series, “Emergency,” a 1951-set espionage thriller, in partnership with Fremantle, that tells the story of a controversial British SAS commander and a local undercover agent in a Communist unit racing against time to stop all-out war.

Series, “The Last Kapitan,” in which a Chinese community leader in British-controlled Penang returns from the dead to exact revenge on the man who wronged him years ago.

Feature film, “Cabut” in which a group of Malaysian robbers take an expat American family hostage in their own home, only to discover that their prisoners are a bunch of twisted serial killers.

Film, “Killing Time,” a Malaysia-set remake of Johns’ cult classic thriller about a deadly female assassin who sets out to avenge the gangster boss who betrayed her.

Film, “Tudung Girl,”in which an underestimated and overlooked young Muslim woman tries to keep her family and neighbours alive when four assassins come to town.

Fact-based film, “Berjalai,” in which a local Iban tracker and a British solider are hunted through the jungle. Can they work together to stay one step ahead of their common enemy?



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Night Court Revival’s Abby Actor Gushes About Chemistry With Her Co-Stars

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Melissa Rauch, who stars on NBC’s Night Court revival as Abby Stone, opens up about the chemistry between herself and her sitcom co-stars.


NBC’s Night Court star Melissa Rauch opens up about the chemistry among the revival’s cast. Night Court originally aired on NBC from 1984 to 1992 and was one of the network’s most popular comedies. The show starred Harry Anderson as eccentric judge Harry T. Stone as he presided over a night court with rotating cases and opportunities for courtroom shenanigans. The show ended its run after nine seasons and seven Primetime Emmy wins, including four Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series wins in consecutive years for Dan Fielding actor John Larroquette.

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In an interview with Hollywood Outbreak, Rauch gushes about the chemistry she has with her co-stars. Rauch, who plays the daughter of Harry Stone on the revival, said that the cast of the new Night Court instantly fit on the set. The one actor that stood out to her the most, though, was the returning Larroquette. Check out Rauch’s full comments on the Night Court revival and its cast below:

“There really was this instant chemistry between all of us. They’re such an incredible group, and I just feel so lucky to be working with each of them. I remember my first day shooting the pilot, and I just couldn’t believe that I was getting the great fortune of working with John Larroquette, whose I work I’ve loved since the original. He’s just such a masterclass in comedy and acting. I watch him in absolute awe.”


Night Court Cast Explained (Who Is New & Who Returns)

Melissa Rauch and John Larroquette in Night Court

The Night Court revival from Dan Rubin and Reinhold Weege features a cast of mostly new characters. Rauch plays Abby Stone, the lead judge on the series who takes on her father’s job overseeing the Manhattan arraignment court night shift. Rauch previously appeared in True Blood and The Big Bang Theory, among many other comedic shows and movies. India de Beaufort plays Olivia, the Manhattan court’s assistant district attorney, and is in the highly ambitious character archetype. The Chicago P.D. and One Tree Hill alum’s character views the court as a jumping-off point for her to better her professional prospects. The revival also stars Lacretta as the court’s bailiff, Gurgs, and Kapil Talwalkar as Abby’s clerk, Neil.

Unfortunately, the opportunity for multiple Night Court returning cast members wasn’t really possible for the revival, as many of the show’s main cast members have either passed away or retired from acting altogether in the decades since the original series. A few actors are still working, though, and that includes Larroquette. He is back as former district attorney Dan Fielding. Fielding is convinced by Abby to return to the court as its new public defender, a request that the veteran lawman eventually agrees to. Larroquette is a common recurring star on the new Night Court.

Original Night Court actors Richard Moll and Marsha Winfield are both still around, but neither of them have appeared in season 1 so far. Moll hasn’t acted since 2018’s Slay Belles and is currently 80 years old, so it’s unlikely that he will return. Warfield is much more possible, though. After taking a decades-long break from acting after 1999, she returned to star in the Miracles Across 125th Street TV movie and has appeared in multiple episodes of 9-1-1 on Fox. Perhaps she could return, but Warfield’s message about Night Court‘s return indicated that she currently doesn’t have any plans to do so. New episodes of Night Court season 1 air every Thursday on NBC.

Source: Hollywood Outbreak

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‘The Traitors’ Renewed for Season 2 at Peacock

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Peacock has picked up “The Traitors” for a second season, the streamer announced on Thursday.

The renewal comes just on the heels of the show’s successful premiere. The series follows twenty contestants going head to head in a series of challenges to ultimately win a cash prize. Along the way, they must also figure out which of the three contestants among the group are “the traitors” with a plan to steal the prize from the other contestants coined “the faithful.” The streamer is touting the unscripted competition as its No. 1 original reality series.

“’The Traitors’ is an ambitious, highly addictive and spontaneous format that keeps contestants and viewers on their toes,” said Corie Henson, NBCUniversal’s EVP of entertainment unscripted content. “Alan Cumming is a well-dressed genius, the producers at Studio Lambert are brilliant storytellers and the show is the perfect mix of drama and suspense to keep our Traitors and Faithfuls craving more.”

In addition to the Season 2 announcement, Peacock has set the Season 1 reunion for February 28. Hosted by Bravo’s Andy Cohen, the reunion will bring the debut cast together for the first time since the traitorous finale.

The first season featured an interesting mix of game players and celebrities including Amanda Clark, Andie Thurmond, Anjelica Conti, Arie Luyendyk Jr. (“Bachelor”/”Bachelorette”), Azra Valani, Brandi Glanville (“The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”), Christian De La Torre, Cirie Fields (“Survivor”), Cody Calafiore (“Big Brother”), Geraldine Moreno, Kate Chastain (“Below Deck”), Kyle Cooke (“Summer House”), Michael Davidson, Quentin Jiles, Rachel Reilly (“Big Brother”), Reza Farahan (“Shahs of Sunset”), Robert “Bam” Nieves, Ryan Lochte, Shelbe Rodriguez, Stephenie LaGrossa Kendrick (“Survivor”).

“We hugely enjoyed making the US version of this hit format with NBC and giving Peacock’s audience a highly bingeable murder mystery game full of intrigue and dramatic twists,” said Stephen Lambert, CEO of Studio Lambert. “This is the game which shows how people judge each other, often leaping to false conclusions, in a way that’s revealing and entertaining, and we’re excited to be making a second season with Alan as together we build on the success of the first.”

Stephen Lambert, Mike Cotton, Toni Ireland, Sam Rees-Jones, Tim Harcourt, and Jack Burgess serve as executive producers. The series is produced by Studio Lambert.



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