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The W - Movies & TV - How to turn "nothing" into a few billion dollars
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StingArmy
Andouille








Since: 3.5.03
From: Georgia bred, you can tell by my Hawk jersey

Since last post: 12 days
Last activity: 9 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.73
If you own a television set you probably have noticed how often Seinfeld re-runs are on. So it shouldn't come as any surprise that Seinfeld is the most profitable half-hour of television in history. But just how profitable are we talking about here?

Try $2.7 billion (MyFoxNY.com).

Billion. With a B. That's $2.3 billion from local stations, $380 million from cable. That comes out to about $14 million in revenue per episode produced. The article also points out that Forbes magazine has previously estimated that Jerry Seinfeld makes in the neighborhood of $50-$80 million PER YEAR just in royalties from reruns (the actual details of his ownership stake are a secret for some reason). $50-80 million coming in the door every year even if he does nothing but eat cereal and watch cartoons all day. And these numbers don't even factor in DVD sales (then again, if the show is on TV six times a day who needs the DVD set).

That is STAGGERING. All this money was made after the series finale. I had no idea syndication could be so lucrative. I wonder if the giant cash cow-osity of this show is what led NBC to believe Seinfeld could "save" The Tonight Show from the evil clutches of Conan...

Anyone know if The Simpsons do numbers like this? That's the only other show I can think of that's as heavily syndicated. Maybe The Cosby Show and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air a atep below those first two.

- StingArmy
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Tribal Prophet
Andouille








Since: 9.1.02
From: Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Since last post: 4 days
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.23
I don't know any numbers, but I'm more interesting in what Friends pulls in. On all the stations we get here, after 4pm Friends is rerun on at least 2 'common' stations at once until 10pm or so.
DJ FrostyFreeze
Knackwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: Hawthorne, CA

Since last post: 3 days
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.42
Read it and weep, fella


    Originally posted by Tribal Prophet
    I don't know any numbers, but I'm more interesting in what Friends pulls in. On all the stations we get here, after 4pm Friends is rerun on at least 2 'common' stations at once until 10pm or so.
I read somewhere a few years ago that the reason Friends got canceled was because the show had gotten so expensive to produce, the only reason it remained profitable was because of the money NBC was making by selling old episodes in syndication. But once the show got 9 years under its belt, the syndicators felt they didnt need to buy anymore episodes because they already has 9 years worth, so they stopped. And with that money no longer coming in, the show was no longer profitable so NBC pulled the plug.



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Mr Heel II
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Since: 25.2.02

Since last post: 4 days
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.20
    Originally posted by StingArmy
    $50-80 million coming in the door every year even if he does nothing but eat cereal and watch cartoons all day.
Ironic, considering he always said it was a show about nothing...

samoflange
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Since: 22.2.04
From: Cambridge, MA

Since last post: 310 days
Last activity: 302 days
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.28
I was in New York City recently and was astounded to see advertisements EVERYWHERE for syndicated episodes of Seinfeld. I wonder how high the ratings are for the reruns. I know that when I had cable if I knew Seinfeld was on and I had nothing better to do, I was watching it.



Lloyd: When I met Mary, I got that old fashioned romantic feeling, where I'd do anything to bone her.
Harry: That's a special feeling.
Tribal Prophet
Andouille








Since: 9.1.02
From: Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Since last post: 4 days
Last activity: 1 day
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.23
    Originally posted by DJ FrostyFreeze
      Originally posted by Tribal Prophet
      I don't know any numbers, but I'm more interesting in what Friends pulls in. On all the stations we get here, after 4pm Friends is rerun on at least 2 'common' stations at once until 10pm or so.
    I read somewhere a few years ago that the reason Friends got canceled was because the show had gotten so expensive to produce, the only reason it remained profitable was because of the money NBC was making by selling old episodes in syndication. But once the show got 9 years under its belt, the syndicators felt they didnt need to buy anymore episodes because they already has 9 years worth, so they stopped. And with that money no longer coming in, the show was no longer profitable so NBC pulled the plug.


Oh I believe that completely. With the main 6 cast alone getting around $108 million total for the last year there's no way the show was really making any real money then. I know there was a huge public outcry for one more year, but it was obvious that NBC would have preferred to stick with their original plan of canceling it after 9.

I'm just wondering how much it takes in now that the costs have all been paid and the investment is done. I'm not sure how it is in the States or even locally in other parts of Canada, but Friends is still the big syndicated show along with Seinfeld on all national stations we get in Winnipeg.
Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 3 hours
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.70
    Originally posted by samoflange
    I was in New York City recently and was astounded to see advertisements EVERYWHERE for syndicated episodes of Seinfeld. I wonder how high the ratings are for the reruns. I know that when I had cable if I knew Seinfeld was on and I had nothing better to do, I was watching it.


This is the real crux of the matter. The Seinfeld reruns are unique since they're still so widely watched. It's like the show never went off the air. I really think this is in part because the show ended still at a ratings peak, and people weren't tired of it yet. With Friends, that show was really running on fumes by the end, but Seinfeld was still very funny in its last season even without Larry David at the helm.
Peter The Hegemon
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Since: 11.2.03
From: Hackettstown, NJ

Since last post: 23 hours
Last activity: 1 hour
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.05
    Originally posted by Big Bad

    This is the real crux of the matter. The Seinfeld reruns are unique since they're still so widely watched. It's like the show never went off the air. I really think this is in part because the show ended still at a ratings peak, and people weren't tired of it yet. With Friends, that show was really running on fumes by the end, but Seinfeld was still very funny in its last season even without Larry David at the helm.


Huh. No doubt that Seinfeld was still hugely popular at the end (not that Friends wasn't doing well at the end, too), but from a creative standpoint, I thought it had really gone downhill. A lot of the stuff from the last year or so--the Mandlebaums, for example, or the constant breakups between Elaine and Puddy--didn't work for me at all.

Friends, to me, was much more consistent. It was, after all, much more conventional. So it never was as striking or original, and it never reached the heights of creativity that Seinfeld did, but it also never went downhill. In reruns, it pretty much all holds up for me (other than the not-infrequent times when Ross behaved like an ass in the later years), including the later stuff.

(edited by Peter The Hegemon on 11.6.10 0213)
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