Here’s How Much These Actors Actually Make From Their Rerun Royalties

Have you ever wondered how much your favorite TV stars earn when you catch their reruns on late-night television? The world of residual payments in the entertainment industry is both fascinating and lucrative, especially for those actors whose shows continue to delight audiences years after their original airing. In this listicle, we dive into the intriguing realm of rerun royalties, exploring how some of the most beloved actors from iconic shows have benefitted financially from their enduring appeal.

From the witty quips of ‘Seinfeld’ to the heartwarming moments of ‘The Brady Bunch’, these shows have not only etched a permanent place in television history but also in their actors’ bank accounts. While exact figures can be elusive and vary greatly, we’ve gathered some interesting insights and estimations on what these stars potentially rake in from reruns. So, sit back and let’s take a nostalgic trip through TV land, revealing the financial side of those endless reruns.

Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld)

Jerry Seinfeld, co-creator and star of ‘Seinfeld’, earns an astounding $110 million annually from reruns. Launched in 1989, ‘Seinfeld’ revolutionized sitcoms with its “show about nothing” concept and ran for nine seasons. Its syndication deals, including a lucrative contract with Hulu, contribute to Seinfeld’s substantial earnings, making it one of the most profitable shows in TV history.

Alan Alda (M*A*S*H)

Alan Alda, known for his role as Hawkeye Pierce in ‘M*A*S*H’, earns approximately $1 million yearly from reruns. Debuting in 1972, ‘M*A*S*H’ was renowned for its blend of comedy and drama, running for 11 seasons. Its finale in 1983 was the most-watched television episode at the time, and the show’s continued popularity in syndication secures ongoing residuals for its cast.

Kelsey Grammer (Cheers, Frasier)

Kelsey Grammer, famous for his roles in ‘Cheers’ and ‘Frasier’, earns over $13 million annually from reruns. ‘Cheers’ started in 1982 and led to the spin-off ‘Frasier’ in 1993, making Grammer one of TV’s most enduring stars. His portrayal of Frasier Crane over two decades has secured him a continuous income stream from these beloved sitcoms.

Ted Danson (Cheers)

Ted Danson, known for his iconic role in ‘Cheers’, earns approximately $5 million each year from reruns of the show. ‘Cheers’, debuting in 1982, became one of America’s most beloved sitcoms, and Danson’s portrayal of Sam Malone was central to its success. His performance not only earned him critical acclaim but also a steady income from the show’s enduring popularity.

Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)

Jim Parsons, best known as Sheldon Cooper in ‘The Big Bang Theory’, earns an extra $10 million annually from reruns. The show, which ran from 2007 to 2019, became a hit for its unique blend of nerd culture and humor, making Parsons a household name and securing his financial gains through continuous syndication.

Dr. Phil (Dr. Phil Show)

Dr. Phil, the host of the ‘Dr. Phil Show’, can earn up to $10 million from the show’s reruns and syndication deals. Since its inception in 2002, the show has become a staple in daytime television, offering advice and conflict resolution, and ensuring a steady revenue stream for its charismatic host.

George Clooney (ER)

George Clooney, who starred in ‘ER’, earns $13 million per year from the show’s reruns. ‘ER’, which premiered in 1994, was a groundbreaking medical drama that catapulted Clooney to fame. His role as Dr. Doug Ross not only defined his early career but also ensures a significant annual income from reruns.

Betty White (The Golden Girls)

Betty White, beloved for her role in ‘The Golden Girls’, made $8 million every year since the show’s finale in 1992 from reruns. The show, which aired from 1985 to 1992, remains a syndication favorite, thanks to its timeless humor and the enduring appeal of its cast, particularly White’s portrayal of Rose Nylund.

Lisa Kudrow (Friends)

Lisa Kudrow, known as Phoebe Buffay in ‘Friends’, earns $20 million annually from the show’s reruns, as the cast receives 2% of the show’s $1 billion yearly residuals. ‘Friends’, airing from 1994 to 2004, continues to be one of the most popular sitcoms worldwide, contributing significantly to the wealth of its cast members.

Carol Burnett (The Carol Burnett Show)

Carol Burnett, renowned for ‘The Carol Burnett Show’, unfortunately, makes only about $0.01 per DVD sold from the show’s reruns. This groundbreaking variety show, which aired from 1967 to 1978, became a staple of American television, showcasing Burnett’s comedic genius, although it hasn’t translated into significant rerun royalties for her.

Eve Plumb (The Brady Bunch)

Eve Plumb, who played Jan Brady in ‘The Brady Bunch’, receives no financial compensation from the reruns of the show. The sitcom, popular in the 70s, continues to be a favorite in syndication, but due to the contracts at the time, the original cast does not benefit financially from its continued airings.

David Hyde Pierce (Frasier)

David Hyde Pierce, known for playing Niles Crane in ‘Frasier’, has earned $40 million from reruns since 2004. ‘Frasier’, a ‘Cheers’ spin-off that aired from 1993 to 2004, gained critical acclaim and a loyal fanbase, ensuring substantial residual income for its cast, especially for Pierce’s standout performance.

Tim Allen (Home Improvement)

Tim Allen, star of ‘Home Improvement’, has earned $18 million over 21 years from the show’s reruns, which is nearly a million a year. The show, which aired from 1991 to 1999, was a hit for its relatable humor and family dynamics, contributing to Allen’s continued earnings from its syndication.

Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond)

Ray Romano, the lead in ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’, earns $18 million a year from the sitcom’s reruns. The show, which aired from 1996 to 2005, remains popular in syndication due to its humorous take on family life, making it a significant source of residual income for Romano.

John Goodman (Roseanne)

ROSEANNE – Iconic comedy series “Roseanne” returns to The ABC Television Network on Tuesday, March 27, at 8 p.m. EDT, with nine new episodes featuring the complete original cast – Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Fishman and Lecy Goranson. Sarah Chalke, who played the character Becky in later seasons, will also appear in another role. New cast joining the one-of-a-kind Conner family includes Emma Kenney as Harris Conner-Healy, Ames McNamara as Mark Conner-Healy and Jayden Rey as Mary Conner. With fresh stories that tackle today’s issues and even more laughs from a brilliant cast and crew that haven’t missed a beat, audiences old and new will celebrate the homecoming of America’s favorite working-class family. (ABC/Adam Rose) ROSEANNE BARR, JOHN GOODMAN

John Goodman, famous for his role in ‘Roseanne’, earns $1 million per year from the show’s reruns. ‘Roseanne’, which aired from 1988 to 1997 and briefly revived in 2018, was known for its portrayal of a working-class American family. Goodman’s portrayal of Dan Conner contributed significantly to the show’s success and continues to add to his earnings through reruns.

David Hasselhoff (Baywatch)

David Hasselhoff, the leading man of ‘Baywatch’, makes $4 million a year from the show’s reruns. Premiering in 1989, ‘Baywatch’ became a cultural phenomenon for its portrayal of lifeguards in California, attracting nearly one billion viewers during its run. Hasselhoff’s role as Mitch Buchannon not only made him an international star but also ensures a steady income from the show’s enduring popularity.

Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic)

Leonardo DiCaprio, star of the blockbuster ‘Titanic’, has received around $300 million in residuals, averaging about $12 million a year. Released in 1997, ‘Titanic’ not only became one of the highest-grossing films ever but also a significant contributor to DiCaprio’s wealth, cementing his status as a leading Hollywood actor.

Jennifer Aniston (Friends)

Jennifer Aniston, renowned for her role as Rachel Green in ‘Friends’, continues to earn $20 million a year from the show’s reruns. The sitcom, which captured audiences from 1994 to 2004 with its portrayal of six friends living in New York City, remains a global sensation in syndication, significantly contributing to Aniston’s financial success.

Bob Saget (Full House)

Bob Saget, known for his role as Danny Tanner in ‘Full House’, earns just $2,000 a year from the show’s reruns. The sitcom, which aired from 1987 to 1995, was a staple of American family television. Despite its popularity and continued reruns, the original cast’s contracts have resulted in minimal residual earnings, as highlighted by Saget’s modest rerun income.

Laramie Landis, Reece Thompson III & Jenette Goldstein in Titanic

Bob Gunton (The Shawshank Redemption)

Bob Gunton, who appeared in ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, earns nearly six figures annually in residuals from the film. Released in 1994, the movie initially wasn’t a box office hit but gained immense popularity over time, becoming a classic. Gunton’s portrayal of Warden Norton contributes to the film’s lasting appeal, which is reflected in his substantial residual earnings.

Reece Thompson (Titanic)

Laramie Landis, Reece Thompson III & Jenette Goldstein in Titanic

Reece Thompson, featured as the “Little Irish Boy” in ‘Titanic’, receives between $100 and $300 a year in residuals. Despite his minor role and limited screen time in the 1997 blockbuster, Thompson continues to earn from the film’s ongoing success and frequent reruns, illustrating the far-reaching financial impact of being part of such a monumental film.

Maureen McCormick (The Brady Bunch)

Maureen McCormick, known for her role as Marcia Brady in ‘The Brady Bunch’, unfortunately, does not earn residuals from the show’s reruns. The series, popular in the 1970s, continues to be a favorite in syndication. However, due to the nature of contracts at the time, McCormick and her fellow cast members do not benefit financially from its continued popularity.

Zack Ward (A Christmas Story)

Zack Ward, who played the bully Scut Farkus in ‘A Christmas Story’, makes approximately $1,800 every two years from residuals. The 1983 film has become a holiday classic, known for its nostalgic portrayal of a childhood Christmas. Ward’s role, albeit small, continues to bring him modest earnings from the film’s frequent holiday season reruns.

David Caruso (CSI Miami)

David Caruso, famous for his role in ‘CSI Miami’, earns up to $100,000 per year from the show’s reruns. The series, which aired from 2002 to 2012, became notable for its dramatic storytelling and Caruso’s portrayal of Horatio Caine. Its success and continued popularity in syndication contribute to Caruso’s annual residual income.

Ed O’Neill (Married… With Children)

Ed O’Neill, best known for his role in ‘Married… With Children’, earns a massive $10 million per year from reruns of the show. The sitcom, which aired from 1987 to 1997, broke new ground with its irreverent humor and portrayal of a dysfunctional family, with O’Neill’s character Al Bundy becoming a cultural icon. His substantial earnings from reruns are a testament to the show’s lasting popularity.

Mark Harmon (NCIS)

Mark Harmon, star of ‘NCIS’, has a contract that potentially allows him to make up to $60 million from reruns. Since its inception in 2003, ‘NCIS’ has been a ratings juggernaut, making it one of the most-watched shows in the world. Harmon’s role as Leroy Jethro Gibbs has been pivotal to its success, ensuring him a lucrative return from its syndication.

Kristen Bell (The Good Place)

Kristen Bell, who played the lead in ‘The Good Place’, unfortunately, does not earn from the show’s reruns, as NBC owns the rights and it airs on a streaming network without the rights being purchased. The show, which aired from 2016 to 2020, received critical acclaim for its unique take on the afterlife and philosophical themes, but its streaming model impacts the traditional residual pay structure for its actors.

PM6MF2 Film Still / Publicity Still from Law and Order Sam Waterston circa 2001 Photo credit: Craig Blankenhorn File Reference # 30847784THA For Editorial Use Only – All Rights Reserved

Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)

Jon Cryer, known for his role in ‘Two and a Half Men’, is entitled to up to $20 million depending on the show’s rerun longevity. The sitcom, which aired from 2003 to 2015, became one of the most popular and longest-running sitcoms on CBS, with Cryer’s character Alan Harper playing a key role in its success. His significant potential earnings from reruns reflect the show’s enduring appeal.

Sam Waterston (Law & Order)

PM6MF2 Film Still / Publicity Still from Law and Order Sam Waterston circa 2001 Photo credit: Craig Blankenhorn File Reference # 30847784THA For Editorial Use Only – All Rights Reserved

Sam Waterston, who starred in ‘Law & Order’, earns up to $5,000 per year from the show, and up to $50,000 per year for his appearances in ‘Law & Order: SVU’. The original series, which ran from 1990 to 2010, set the standard for legal dramas and remains a fixture in syndication, contributing to Waterston’s ongoing residual income for his portrayal of Jack McCoy.

Alex Borstein (Family Guy)

Alex Borstein, the voice of Lois Griffin in ‘Family Guy’, is set to earn up to $10 million from reruns of the show. Premiering in 1999, ‘Family Guy’ quickly became known for its edgy humor and has remained a staple of animated adult comedy. Borstein’s role has been integral to the show’s success, earning her significant residual income from its widespread syndication.

Michael Richards (Seinfeld)

Michael Richards, famed for his role as Kramer in ‘Seinfeld’, also benefits from the show’s lucrative syndication deals. While specific figures for Richards are not publicly disclosed, the show’s success and continuous reruns on various platforms likely result in substantial annual earnings for him, similar to his co-star Jerry Seinfeld.

Jason Alexander (Seinfeld)

Jason Alexander, known for playing George Costanza in ‘Seinfeld’, is another primary cast member who reaps the financial rewards of the show’s ongoing popularity in reruns. His earnings, though not publicly specified, are assumed to be significant, mirroring the show’s success and its profitable syndication agreements.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Seinfeld)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who portrayed Elaine Benes in ‘Seinfeld’, also enjoys the financial benefits of the show’s reruns. Like her co-stars, Louis-Dreyfus’s exact earnings from reruns are not public, but given the show’s immense popularity and syndication revenue, they are presumed to be considerable.

Matthew Perry (Friends)

Matthew Perry, recognized for his role as Chandler Bing in ‘Friends’, earns an estimated $20 million annually from the show’s reruns, sharing the same deal as his co-stars with 2% of the show’s $1 billion yearly residuals. ‘Friends’ continues to attract viewers worldwide, contributing significantly to the financial success of its cast members, including Perry.

Courteney Cox (Friends)

Courteney Cox, best known as Monica Geller in ‘Friends’, similarly earns $20 million annually from the show’s reruns, thanks to the cast’s share of the $1 billion in yearly residuals. The show’s global appeal and enduring popularity ensure a significant, ongoing income for Cox, contributing greatly to her career earnings.

Matt LeBlanc (Friends)

Matt LeBlanc, who played Joey Tribbiani in ‘Friends’, also earns $20 million per year from reruns. ‘Friends’ has remained a cultural phenomenon, with its reruns continually attracting new audiences, securing LeBlanc a steady and substantial residual income years after the show’s conclusion.

David Schwimmer (Friends)

David Schwimmer, known for his role as Ross Geller in ‘Friends’, shares the same rerun earnings as his co-stars, approximately $20 million annually. The show’s success, both during its original run and in syndication, has made it one of the most profitable TV shows for its cast, including Schwimmer.

James Gandolfini (The Sopranos)

James Gandolfini, the star of ‘The Sopranos’, earned significant amounts from reruns. While exact figures are not public, the show’s critical acclaim and popularity in syndication suggest Gandolfini received considerable residuals. ‘The Sopranos’, airing from 1999 to 2007, is often cited as one of the greatest TV shows, contributing to the enduring financial benefits for its lead actor.

Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)

Bryan Cranston, known for his iconic role as Walter White in ‘Breaking Bad’, benefits from the show’s reruns. Specific earnings figures are not available, but the show’s massive success and continuous syndication likely result in significant annual residuals for Cranston. ‘Breaking Bad’, which aired from 2008 to 2013, received widespread acclaim and has a strong presence in reruns and streaming platforms.

Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)

Aaron Paul, who played Jesse Pinkman in ‘Breaking Bad’, similarly enjoys the benefits of the show’s syndication. While his exact rerun earnings are not publicly known, the critical and commercial success of ‘Breaking Bad’, which aired from 2008 to 2013, suggests a significant residual income. Paul’s portrayal of Pinkman was pivotal to the show’s acclaim, likely contributing to a lucrative return from reruns.

Hugh Laurie (House)

Hugh Laurie, the lead actor in ‘House’, has likely earned considerable residuals from reruns, though specific figures are not public. The medical drama, airing from 2004 to 2012, was widely popular for its unique protagonist and complex medical cases. Laurie’s portrayal of Dr. Gregory House, a brilliant but troubled physician, was central to the show’s success, ensuring ongoing financial benefits from syndication.

Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City)

Sarah Jessica Parker, known for her role as Carrie Bradshaw in ‘Sex and the City’, earns substantial residuals from reruns, though exact amounts are not disclosed. The show, which aired from 1998 to 2004, gained a cult following for its portrayal of four women navigating life in New York City. Parker’s role was instrumental in its success, contributing to her continued earnings from syndication and reruns.

Kim Cattrall (Sex and the City)

Kim Cattrall, who played Samantha Jones in ‘Sex and the City’, also benefits financially from the show’s reruns. Like her co-star Parker, Cattrall’s specific earnings from reruns are not public, but given the show’s enduring popularity and syndication deals, they are likely to be significant. Cattrall’s performance was a key part of the show’s appeal, ensuring her a share in its residual success.

Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City)

Cynthia Nixon, portraying Miranda Hobbes in ‘Sex and the City’, earns residuals from the show’s reruns. While the exact figures are not known, the series’ continued popularity in syndication likely translates to considerable earnings for Nixon. Her role contributed to the show’s dynamic portrayal of friendship and love in urban life, adding to its longevity and syndication appeal.

Kristin Davis (Sex and the City)

Kristin Davis, who played Charlotte York in ‘Sex and the City’, similarly benefits from the show’s reruns. While the specific amount of her earnings from reruns is not publicly available, the success and continued popularity of the show in syndication suggest that Davis receives a significant residual income. Her portrayal of Charlotte added a unique charm to the series, contributing to its lasting success.