As we know, TV is now in its golden age thanks to better writing, more independent thinking and heavyweight actors ready to take the leap and forego film roles for a longer commitment.
The charge may have begun in earnest with Matthew McConaughey or Kevin Spacey in their respective shows, but now it's really hitting full steam as both Meryl Streep and Robert DeNiro have signed up to appear in separate TV shows. What's more, a recent report by THR confirms that they're both picking up huge money in the process.
Meryl Streep will star in the JJ Abrams-produced miniseries The Nix - based on the bestseller by Nathan Hill - for a whopping $825,000 per episode. What's more, JJ Abrams is also potentially lined up to direct an episode or two of the series. Robert DeNiro is getting slightly less for the untitled David O. Russell-produced series for Amazon; picking up $725,000 per episode with twenty episodes planned. All told, DeNiro will come out with $15 million. Dwayne Johnson, on his HBO show Ballers, is taking in $4.5 million per season - and that's just his acting fee, as he's also an executive producer on the show.
It's no surprise that the paycheques are going up as the star power in television continues to increase. Netflix broke the mould with Kevin Spacey and House Of Cards and is setting a high bar for the likes of HBO and Amazon to clear. It's understood Netflix is planning on spending upwards of $6 billion to create new content and wants high-profile, big-ticket actors to back them all up.
It's paying off, too, as audiences for cinemas is beginning to shrink and people opt for broader, more nuanced stories on television.