Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are two of the most successful actresses in Hollywood, first starting their careers in movies before expanding into television. A new report by Variety shares the salaries of a number of the industry's biggest names, revealing just how much studios are willing to pay to get top-name talent headlining their shows.
The report shares the Kidman is earning $1 million per episode for the Hulu series Nine Perfect Strangers, which is based on the novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty, who also wrote Big Little Lies. The series was given a straight-to-series order and Kidman will also executive produce.
Meanwhile, Witherspoon is taking home $1.1 million per episode for Hulu's Little Fires Everywhere, as is her co-star Kerry Washington. That show is based on the 2017 novel by Celeste Ng and will be released in 2020.
Other stars in the $1 million club include Harrison Ford ($1.2 million/episode, The Staircase, TBD), Jeff Bridges ($1 million/episode, The Old Man, FX/Hulu) and Steve Carrell ($1 million, Space Force, Netflix).
"At this particular moment in time there's a feeding frenzy," Dante Di Loreto, Fremantle president of scripted entertainment for North America," explained. "There's a lot of money that has been dropped into the television universe because of new companies entering the market and a desire to make an impact really quickly."
"Every actor is available now," added one agent. "They used to say, 'No interest in TV.' You can't say that anymore. There are certain people who won't do broadcast, and people who won't do basic cable. But I wouldn't even take someone like Leonardo DiCaprio off the table. Why wouldn't Leo do an eight-episode limited series? It's as good as a movie."
Witherspoon was recently the subject of a salary discussion when it was reported that she and Jennifer Aniston are each earning $2 million for each episode of their Apple TV+ series, The Morning Show. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Witherspoon defended their salaries after the report appeared to raise eyebrows.
"There seemed to be a resentment, as if we weren't worth it or it was bothersome, and I thought, 'Why is that bothersome?'" she said. "I guarantee these companies are real smart, and if they agree to pay us, they're doing it for a reason. They probably had a lot of lawyers and a lot of business people decide on that number because they knew that they were going to make more than that back. Does it bother people when Kobe Bryant or LeBron James make their contract?"
Photo Credit: Getty / John Shearer