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What are TV Residuals?


Simply put, residuals are additional payments made to a director, actor, writer or producer for reusing material that they already helped create. For example, every time you see an episode of SEINFELD on TV, no matter what channel or what time of day it is, the writer, director and all the lead cast members will receive residual payments for that episode. The dollar value of residuals can vary a great deal depending the agreement made. For examples, writers can make anywhere from $2K and upwards of $5K per episode depending on how well they negotiate their contract. Do note, however, that as the particular episode continues to re-air, residual payments decrease. A typical breakdown could look something like this:

2nd run        full residual payment
3rd run         50%
4th run         40%
5th run         25%
7-10th run   15%
11-12th run 10%
13th run +    5%


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