$5,000 to $20,000
$20,000 to $30,000
I’m not sure where to start with these numbers. I can easily add up the money a show makes for each episode and figure out how much it’ll make for a year. However, what if we were to add in the show’s total budget? The total budget for a movie like the first season of Community seems large, but the average for a show like Modern Family is much different than that. It’s probably worth asking yourself if it’s worth making every penny on every show that you make.
If we are to extrapolate the budget for a show I was excited about that ended up being one of the top 10 rated shows in the United States, I’d say it cost $25,000 per episode. Now a show with a budget of $25,000,000 would not only earn that much each year from viewers, but it’d have to make almost 2,000 episodes to break even and that would almost be a pipe dream at $50,000 for a pilot.
If I had a budget of $25,000,000 and made 1,000 episodes, it would make $500,000 per year (if each episode was 3 minutes long if every episode was made by 30 people working), which would be more than $3 million in revenue. If for some reason I decided to only make 90 episodes and did my research and realized that I would only make $400,000 per year, then I’d be able to make this money back in just 45 episodes (a total of $1.6 million if everyone in a single episode made $100), which is more than twice what I made with each episode.
What about the other people?
If we have to make a budget by adding the salaries and bonuses of everyone involved in the show, then the overall average salary for the show is $30+ per episode. This is far lower than the average $125 per episode made by series main players, but you have to remember that the salary is based on how much you’re making to break even and you have to take into account any bonuses. The lowest pay scale on Modern Family is $22.20 per hour, which is not a lot considering what it took to make the show. The second most popular show on the Modern Family cast is the sitcom, Seinfeld where the salary is $22.76, which is still a lot lower than the average
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