Paramount Network’s Yellowstone is, by some measures, the biggest show on television with record-breaking ratings (and behind-the-scenes drama to boot). It stands to reason that the show’s Oscar-nominated star, Kevin Costner, would be TV’s highest-paid actor, but nope. His $1.2 million per episode isn’t chump change, but there’s someone who’s making nearly double that. Where’s the Jim Halpert stare GIF when you need it?
Puck reports that “most agents and lawyers I talk to believe [the title of highest-paid actor] goes to Jack Ryan star John Krasinski, whose acting (and executive producing) fee is believed to reach, or even top, $2 million an episode on the Amazon series’ just-concluded eight-episode third season.”
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star Mariska Hargitay and recently-departed Grey’s Anatomy actress Ellen Pompeo technically make more overall than Krasinski, due to longer seasons, but they’re not bringing in $2 million an episode. Other stars to crack $1 million include Jason Sudeikis for Ted Lasso, Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren for 1923, and Zendaya for Euphoria. The days of seven-figure salaries could be coming to an end, however.
Having said all that, the post-Peak TV salary comedown is real. All the outlets (except maybe Amazon and Apple) are pushing back on even top tier talent. When I asked one big dealmaker which stars are commanding $1 million these days, he texted back: “$850,000 is the new $1 million.”
I don’t know how much Tim Robinson is making for I Think You Should Leave, but whatever it is, it’s not enough.