Babies born the year “Seinfeld” premiered are now old enough to rent cars (Better get the insurance if you plan on beating the hell out of the thing). The “Show About Nothing” premiered 25 years ago this week. Back then, “The Seinfeld Chronicles,” as they were called, introduced a comedian, his friend George, and kooky neighbor Kessler (Elaine wouldn’t be added until later.) Watching the slow paced pilot episode, it’s hard to believe that from such modest beginnings came one of the most critically and commercially successful, game-changing shows in television history.
“Seinfeld” not only made multimillionaires of creators Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld many times over, it continues to be a major revenue generator for distributor Sony and production company Castle Rock, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. New York magazine recently took a look at the economics behind the show. Here’s a breakdown of “Seinfeld” by the numbers:
The amount of money Jerry Seinfeld was paid per episode during the 1991-92 season.
How much Seinfeld made per episode by 1997-98, the show’s ninth and final season.
The number of people who tuned in to watch the “Seinfeld” series finale.
The price of Jerry Seinfeld’s artistic integrity. After nine seasons, Seinfeld decided to call it quits, rejecting NBC’s offer of $5 million an episode – $110 million for the season – to continue the show for a tenth year.
The amount of money “Seinfeld” has made since becoming syndicated in 1995. Those reruns on TBS and late at night after the news on your local CW affiliate add up.
What Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld will each make off the most recent syndication cycle.