If there’s one unrelated thing that can be taken from the following article, it’s this: Jennifer Aniston and the cast of Friends making US $1 million per episode of the popular television sitcom in the early 2000s truly was unprecedented. The cast’s bargaining power was to stick together and negotiate the same salaries as a team.
Fast forward to 2018: It’s been reported Big Little Lies stars and producers Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman were making between US $250 000 and $350 000 from season one of the tremendously successful Golden Globe winning series. Now in the wake of salaries being renegotiated for season two, it appears Aniston has played a part in the stars’ pay rises.
Apple has injected a massive US $1 billion into its television platform, Apple TV, and studio executives anticipated this budget would shake things up. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Witherspoon’s deal with Apple to star alongside Aniston in new television show Top Of The Morning has seen her negotiate “around US $1.25 million per episode.” With more money to pay top-billing stars and television creators, other networks have been forced to meet the new standard.
As a result, Witherspoon and Kidman reportedly renegotiated salaries of US $1 million per episode of Big Little Lies with HBO.
“It’s not a shock to anybody that having a second season of an ongoing series is easier to have with those deals in place,” HBO programming president Casey Bloys told THR. “Every outlet has to make their own decisions about economics that make sense for them. I’m not going to shake my fist and say, ‘Darn it, Apple!’ If that’s what made sense for them for that show, God bless.”
Zoe Kravitz and Shailene Woodley’s earnings have skyrocketed as a result.