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October 9, 2015

Seth MacFarlane - Highest paid TV writer/producer

by Brett Love, posted May 5th 2008 9:04AM

Seth MacFarlaneFrom the "Things that make you go, hmmmm?" department... Just let this one roll around in your noggin for a bit. According to reports, after 2 1/2 years of negotiations, Mr. MacFarlane has a new deal with 20th Century Fox TV that could be worth more than $100 million. The deal will keep him with the studio through 2012. To put it in some perspective, J.J. Abrams signed a five year feature/TV deal with Paramount and Warner Bros that was valued at $60 million.

Now, I don't mean to slight Seth or his accomplishments, but doesn't that strike you as just a bit odd? I mean, I'm a fan of his work. I've never missed an episode of Family Guy or American Dad. Hell, I sat through The War At Home to catch his guest spot. Still, I also follow ratings rather closely, and while Family Guy is certainly a success, I wouldn't have expected it to garner him highest paid status. Maybe The Cleveland Show is just that much better than any of us are giving it credit for.

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I like Seth MarFarlane...but uh, he's not Aaron Sorkin.

July 11 2008 at 6:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

most importantly, he has 14 new projects under construction. if even 2 - 3 of those take off, thats a huge cash cow for the studio / network.

jj abrams is paid 60 mill for 5 years, but that will not include his movie projects, like cloverfield and star trek and mission impossible, so overall jj will probably earn more.
also jj's contribution to the TV scene will be far far less, he will probably setup the shows premises, be involved with casting, probably write a few of the initial episodes, then when it takes off he will move on. like what happened with Lost.

May 06 2008 at 1:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm sure someone already mentioned it, but don't forget about DVDs and syndication.

May 05 2008 at 5:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You mean the guy they cancelled twice? Mitch Hurwitz by rights should now be on millions!

May 05 2008 at 2:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Worth noting that MacFarlane isn't just a writer/producer for his shows. He voices the leads in both Family Guy and American Dad. Heck, on Family Guy he voices the 3 top roles. He's integral in a way few w/p's are. Toss in the huge DVD sales, and this kind of deal makes a lot of sense.

May 05 2008 at 11:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i think the headline for this article should actually be "How/why does this guy get to bang mila kunis?" than just that picture and a "find out how after the jump" link

May 05 2008 at 11:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And on the other hand at a certain point you could just drop everything and do something "creative" which he is. Considering the DVD sales brought FG back to the TV screen I think it's crystal clear that there's A LOT of money in the FG DVDs. And I mean A LOT of money.

Makes you wonder whether the writers' strike was worth it. They went after online and in the end what currently is the moneymaker doesn't give them any profits at all. I mean I read so many stories during the strike about people who wrote the story for DVD sales hits who got a measly amount of money and in the end they now fought for getting a fair share of what's not really garnering any profits instead of finally getting their fair share of what is currently raking in boatloads of cash...

May 05 2008 at 11:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris Wyant

I think it's because not only does he write and runs the business end of two shows (as well as EP-ing other ventures), but he does tons of voice work... Union rules, etc. kinda dictate that all around he'd have to be paid rather handsomely.

May 05 2008 at 10:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm right there with Brian, citing production costs. Also consider that, in the case of a low-budget animated show where the voice cast, however charming, can be replaced, locking up head writer/producer Macfarlane is tantamount to locking up the entire show.

May 05 2008 at 10:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brian Baggett

Obviously it's because his show is a huge moneymaker for Fox. The DVD sales are always through the roof and his deal is probably proportional to that. To contrast, JJ's projects cost more to produce which is why his deal is smaller. Production costs for Family Guy are probably pretty low.

May 05 2008 at 10:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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