It is customary in Hollywood for the casts of hit series to get salary increases after Season 2. Succession, which, after the end of Game Of Thrones, has emerged as HBO’s most acclaimed drama, fits that bill.
And, while its Season 3 production has been delayed because of the COVID-19 health crisis, when it eventually commences, the main cast will be getting bigger paychecks.
The actors will see some of it right away. As Deadline reported in late March, HBO and Netflix are the two major studios to agree to pay cast members on shows affected by the Coronavirus pandemic-imposed industrywide production shutdown. HBO is believed to be following a payment schedule that includes giving actors 25% of their pay now, 25% when production on their show was supposed to start and the remaining 50% when filming actually commences.
The salary renegotiations on Succession did not commence during a pandemic. By early February, I had heard that star Brian Cox’s deal had already closed, with the rest of the cast deep in negotiations. The bulk — if not all — of of the contract negotiations wrapped before the pandemic hit in earnest in March.
HBO and reps for the cast are declining to comment but Cox, who started higher than the rest, remains the highest-paid Succession cast member with a salary in the $400,000-$500,000 per episode range, I hear. The rest of the main cast, led by breakouts Jeremy Strong, Kieran Culkin and female lead Sarah Snook, are believed to have scored big salary increases to more than $300,000 an episode. The closing of the actors’ new deals was first reported by THR.
HBO in late March suspending pre-production on the upcoming seasons of Succession and Barry.
“We are looking forward to resuming preproduction when it is safe and healthy for everyone working on our shows to do so,” the network said in a statement back then. “Where possible, our writers are continuing to write remotely.”
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