Variety’s Michael Scheider has an interesting article on the structure of deals for TV writers in the wake of the 2007-2008 WGA strike. Though the general theme seems to be they have to do more work for less money, “less” is relative only to the days when it apparently always rained money. Note the Variety story focuses on writer’s who have pacts with the studios. There’s surely a flip-side that’s much less lucrative.
But for the average writer with a deal, the pact usually comes out to between $800,000 (on the low end) and $1.5 million (at the high end) a year for two years — with the agreement that they’ll work on one of the studio’s shows while also developing a pilot or two. That’s significantly down from the $3 million-a-year benchmark of a decade ago.
“The biggest difference from years past is the studios won’t pay that big exclusivity premium for just being in business with people,” one tenpercenter says. “Most midlevel deals are going to have some component of trying to make sure they make sense.”