David wants more money at ‘Seinfeld’

As if NBC officials didn’t have enough things to worry about, the exec producer and co-creator of the web’s top-rated returning series, “Seinfeld,” reportedly is trying to extract a hefty raise out of the show’s production company, Castle Rock Entertainment.

Larry David, who exec produces the blossoming hit along with George Shapiro, Howard West and Andrew Scheinman, is said to be seeking $ 125,000 per episode — roughly doubling his current salary — to stay on next season, translating into more than $ 3 million for 26 episodes.

David’s agent, Gavin Polone of United Talent Agency, wouldn’t discuss figures but maintained that negotiations had been fruitless thus far and that no additional talks were scheduled at this time.

A Castle Rock spokesman said, “We are negotiating, and there is a mutual desire for Larry to come back next season.”

“Seinfeld’s” season-closing episode — an hourlong show-within-a-show, where the characters tape an NBC pilot — was shot last week.

One observer said UTA feels it has inordinate leverage because “Seinfeld” is so important to NBC’s plans and David provides the show’s quirky vision along with star and co-creator Jerry Seinfeld. (The character of George, played by Jason Alexander, is said to be based on David.)

“Seinfeld” has posted moderate ratings with a strong young-demographic skew since premiering in May 1990 but really took off in February, when NBC moved the show behind “Cheers” in a bid to boost the series for next season. During those eight weeks, six original episodes of “Seinfeld” have averaged a stellar 17.9 rating, 27 share, bettering its lead-in with four of those eight airings.

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