A billion dollars would go a long way in Mayberry

A note on pandemic TV viewing from USA Today.

Last year, NBC's "Friends" – which ended its 10-year run in 2004 – was the most-watched comedy on broadcast or cable TV, with 96.7 billion minutes viewed, a 30% jump from 2019. "Andy Griffith" grew 29%, to 58.3 billion viewing minutes, while ABC's "Roseanne" saw a 70% viewing surge to 20.1 billion minutes.

For a bit of context, check out this 2015 article also from USA Today.
Well, through the magic of syndication revenue, Friends pulls in a whopping $1 billion each year for Warner Bros. Here's the kicker though: That translates into about a $20 million annual paycheck each for Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer, who each make 2% of that syndication income.
Without going into the rabbit hole of valuation and Hollywood accounting, we can't start to approximate the money the Andy Griffith Show has brought in, but the Friends comparison gives us some idea of the kind of numbers we're talking about. It's true that the business of television has changed over the past few years but the overall impact of streaming has been to pump tons of money into the industry so I doubt the overall amounts have dropped much.

Even if we ignore the pandemic spike (which is probably a mistake. Once a new audience gets invested in an old show, they tend to stay invested) and assume considerably lower revenue for Griffith compared to Friends per viewing hour, it seems (Read more...)