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Jerry Seinfeld is inches away from being a billionaire due to his unbelievable syndication deals

Katherine Sidnell

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Jerry Seinfeld is inches away from being a billionaire due to his unbelievable syndication deals

Featured Image Credit: Manny Carabel/Getty Images / NBC

When you think of celebs with major bank balances, Jerry Seinfeld probably doesn’t come to mind immediately.

However, the comedian is now so close to becoming a billionaire thanks to some syndication deals.

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And it’s a far cry from his initial starting income, with the Seinfeld star earning just $20,000 (£15.6k) per episode for the first series of the sitcom, Cosmopolitan reports.

However, the comedian wasn’t about to settle for less and soon reportedly negotiated a deal for $40,000 for seasons two and three and then $100,000 per episode from season four onwards.

It’s understandable that NBC execs were willing to fork out for the lead as the sitcom would quickly become the biggest show on US television.

For seasons seven and eight, however, Seinfeld then got a huge raise, earning $500,000 per episode before getting a new deal for the final season.

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Seinfeld has become one of the most fought over sitcoms. Credit: NBC
Seinfeld has become one of the most fought over sitcoms. Credit: NBC

By the series' end, the TV personality was reportedly taking home $1 million per episode, with the network begging for another instalment of the beloved series.

Sadly, he turned down a further $5 million per episode as he wanted to show to go out on a high.

With the series now over, the show was heavily repeated when it came into syndication in 1995, earning Seinfield a whopping $255 million (£199m) in the decades following.

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Jerry Seinfeld could have earned even more, if he'd agree to a new season. Credit: NBC
Jerry Seinfeld could have earned even more, if he'd agree to a new season. Credit: NBC

In 2014, a report from Vulture said that the show had generated $3.1 billion since it first entered syndication.

Then in 2015, the series moved to the streaming giant Hulu, who bought the rights for five years at an insane cost of $160 million.

When the series moved to Netflix though, it cost the platform more than $500 million for just five years of screenings, Vanity Fair reported at the time.

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The site also reportedly negotiated a deal with Seinfeld for his specials, 23 Hours to Kill, and the 2012 series, Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, earning him another bumper bonus of $20 million and $100 million respectively.

All of these various deals, Cosmopolitan says, have earned Seinfeld a staggering $950m (£769m) – just $50 million shy of billionaire status.

With his bank account bulging and Seinfeld regularly topping the Forbes Rich List, you’d think the comedian would perhaps slow down.

However, he has gone on to invest quite a bit into his impressive car collection, which includes a lot of Porsches, and over $40m in various homes across the US.

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And, according to Forbes, his comedy tours do extremely well, as in 2020, he pulled in $20 million from touring alone.

So, whose to say when he'll cross that mark into billionaire territory?

Topics: Film & TV, Celebrity, Film and TV, Money, US News, Hulu, Netflix

Katherine Sidnell
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