You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NBC, ‘Mad’ stars ink on money deal

Negotiations end just before Hunt's Oscar win

Hours before Helen Hunt nabbed the Oscar for Best Actress, NBC and Columbia TriStar TV gave in to the salary demands of the “Mad About You” star and her male lead Paul Reiser, ensuring the show will return to the schedule next season.

Hunt’s triumph makes her the first Academy Award winner for best actress to concurrently star in a TV sitcom.

Hunt and Reiser now join the $1 million-per-episode club, which will have only one other member next season: “Home Improvement” star Tim Allen, who will earn $1.25 million. Jerry Seinfeld was the first sitcom star to hit the $1 million-per-episode mark, but he, of course, is signing off at the end of the season.

Aside from starring in “Mad About You,” Reiser is also creator and executive producer, and Hunt is a co-executive producer of the sitcom.

“I’m happy to confirm to Paul and Helen that we’re still mad about you,” NBC entertainment president Warren Littlefield said Monday.

Both NBC and Columbia will contribute to their new salaries — which jump from roughly $250,000 per episode to $1 million — although NBC will pay the bulk of the increase as part of its license fee to Columbia. Neither the network nor the studio would comment on the details, but sources say NBC’s license fee to Columbia is about $3.3 million next season.

By all indications, NBC and Columbia wanted to make a deal before the Academy Awards ceremony because Hunt was considered a strong contender in the best actress category, and they feared a win might give her even more negotiating power. The return of “Mad About You” for a seventh season gives NBC another key series to work with in setting a fall schedule without “Seinfeld.” “Mad About You” is on a short list of contenders to fill “Seinfeld’s” coveted Thursday 9 p.m. timeslot.

“Mad About You” has aired on five different nights during its six seasons and is currently winning its Tuesday 8 p.m. timeslot with a 10.3/17 household average and a 6.3 in the key adults 18-49 demo.

Those ratings rank the sitcom 23rd out of all network series this season in adults 18-49. The sitcom ties for ninth place, along with the drama “Law & Order,” among NBC shows.

” ‘Mad About You’ holds a special place in all of our hearts, since it was the first major comedy hit for us when we relaunched TriStar TV six seasons ago,” said Eric Tannenbaum, president of Columbia TriStar TV. “We’re simply delighted that Paul and Helen, along with our talented creative team headed by executive producer Vic Levin, will be back for a seventh special season.”

More TV


    TV News Roundup: 'Highwire Live in Times Square' Tops Sunday Night Ratings

    In today’s TV news roundup, ABC’s “Highwire Live in Times Square” tops Sunday night ratings, and “Total Bellas” has been renewed for a fifth season. DATES FX will air the special event “Peabody Presents: Stories of the Year” on July 7. The program will showcase the issues honored at the 78th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Scream' Series Moves From MTV to VH1 for July Debut

    The long-gestating third season of the “Scream” series is finally debuting–but not on its original network. Variety has confirmed that the series will air on VH1 instead of MTV as originally planned. “Scream” will debut on VH1 on July 8 and air two one-hour episodes back-to-back for three straight nights. The third season of the [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Video of Jussie Smollett With Rope Around His Neck Released by Chicago Police

    The Chicago Police Department released new surveillance footage and files in regards to the Jussie Smollett hoax case on Monday, including one that shows the “Empire” actor shortly after the alleged attack. In one of the videos, police body-cam footage shows authorities entering Smollett’s Chicago apartment, led by his manager, Frank Gatson. Smollett is found [...]

  • rachel brosnahan Variety Cover Story

    Rachel Brosnahan Signs First-Look Deal With Amazon Studios

    Rachel Brosnahan is deepening her relationship with Amazon. The “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” star has signed a first-look deal with Amazon Studios, under which she and her Scrap Paper Pictures production company will develop TV series exclusively for Amazon’s streaming platform. Brosnahan has won several awards for her performance as Midge Maisel, including an Emmy Award [...]

  • Kevin Costner stars as John Dutton

    'Yellowstone' Season 2 Premiere Ratings More Than Double in Delayed Viewing

    The Season 2 premiere of “Yellowstone” more than doubled its Live+Same Day numbers in Live+3. According to Nielsen data, the premiere last Wednesday rose to a 0.98 rating in adults 18-49 and just over 5 million total viewers after three days of playback. That is up 115% in the demo and 109% in viewers from [...]

  • Malaka

    Conecta Fiction 2019: 10 Takeaways

    MADRID  —  The 3rd Conecta Fiction, Europe’s biggest Latin American TV co-production forum, wrapped last week in Pamplona after four days of dealing, debate and gastronomic delectation. Following 10 Takeaways from an intense and buoyant event, driven by the unfaltering growth of high-end production in Spain and most of Latin America: 1.PLATFORM PIVOT  The writing [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content