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  • Avatar of drudager

    drudager

    [1551]Feb 2, 2012
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    Ruckhappy wrote:

    drudager wrote:
    I just don't get why anyone would quit or leave; especially in the middle of the season for a once-in-a-lifetime job like SNL. It's not like sitcom deals are going away anytime soon. If somehow someone gets inside that door, milk it for all it's worth, but not to the extent like Hammond. I guess maybe the show isn't as important or glamorous as it used to be.


    More pay for easier work is one reason. You will make more money cast as a second banana in a reasonably successful sitcom than you'll make for a season of SNL.



    Still, I'd consider it a labor of love. Basically nobody else does live sketch comedy anymore. I figured it has to be one of the hardest things there is to do. Plus you'd be a part of a long-standing franchise forever. Or maybe it's die-hards like us who keep the show's legend alive by word-of-mouth. I'd be like "Hey did you see so-and-so host SNL?" and they're all like "people still watch that show?"
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  • Avatar of Ruckhappy

    Ruckhappy

    [1552]Feb 2, 2012
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    drudager wrote:
    Ruckhappy wrote:


    Ferrell was getting $350K per season at the end, according to his IMDB bio. If Lorne has a budget of $12 million per episode (one figure I've heard), you can project out that he can't afford to pay the cast six-figure salaries per episode.


    Jesus Christ. Last heard on the subject that NBC cut like $1 million or $10 million from the SNL budget. If they have that much to cut, how much are they spending in general for a minimal Saturday night ratings grab?? Is NBC making good moola on advertising with the show? I still wonder when/if SNL ends, it's going to because of a budget & not Lorne.


    The general consensus seems to be that SNL has been reliably profitable for NBC overall the last 10-12 years with peaks of being significantly profitable during, for example, the 2008 election season. But that doesn't map directly to how NBC values the show because with the advent of Internet replay, etc., the network seems to view the show as a content-creation engine with a long-term reuse revenue stream. It's a bank, not a McDonalds.


    Also, the accounting for a network-owned property can be Byzantine. What of their own overhead is NBC charging off against the show? A lot of the below-the-line staff do other work for NBC, like the cameramen. You really can't sort out more than the gross budget factors, like that with 25-30 above-the-line bodies (cast, writers, producers) they can't all be making six figures per episode. Conversely, what's Lorne's piece of the action? If the leads on a successful sitcom are getting high six figures per episode, you can bet that Lorne's salary is at least that much.

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  • Avatar of HelloStuart

    HelloStuart

    [1553]Feb 3, 2012
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    drudager wrote:
    Ruckhappy wrote:

    Ferrell was getting $350K per season at the end, according to his IMDB bio. If Lorne has a budget of $12 million per episode (one figure I've heard), you can project out that he can't afford to pay the cast six-figure salaries per episode.



    Jesus Christ. Last heard on the subject that NBC cut like $1 million or $10 million from the SNL budget. If they have that much to cut, how much are they spending in general for a minimal Saturday night ratings grab?? Is NBC making good moola on advertising with the show? I still wonder when/if SNL ends, it's going to because of a budget & not Lorne.

    Believe it or not, four of the cheapest shows to produce in NBC's dock are in late night. Carson Daly has the smallest budget, than Fallon, than Leno, than SNL. (Not sure about Brian Williams or the Today show, though.) Plus, the ad revenue is surprisingly lucrative, so the Peacock is the only network that turns a profit on Saturdays anymore.
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  • Avatar of Ruckhappy

    Ruckhappy

    [1554]Feb 3, 2012
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    HelloStuart wrote:
    Believe it or not, four of the cheapest shows to produce in NBC's dock are in late night. Carson Daly has the smallest budget, than Fallon, than Leno, than SNL. (Not sure about Brian Williams or the Today show, though.) Plus, the ad revenue is surprisingly lucrative, so the Peacock is the only network that turns a profit on Saturdays anymore.


    Yeah, talk shows are incredible cash cows. Build one set and reuse it over and over and over. Small production staff, talent is essentially free (except for host salary).


    SNL is different, though. Big staff, big production overhead. Remember, they build sets for for 2-3 more sketches than make it to air. Do you know what a union set carpenter makes in NYC? Oh man.

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  • Avatar of drudager

    drudager

    [1555]Feb 3, 2012
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    Well, does anybody have any links to figures of late night salaries, revenue & costs?
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  • Avatar of stellarchick86

    stellarchick86

    [1556]Feb 10, 2012
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    All I have to say on the subject is that Ive heard that in general NBC would be okay with cutting the show due to budgets but that Lorne is so willing to keep the show on the air that he puts some of his own money into it. Whether or not its true IDK but yeah. Its probably obvious that SNL isnt what it once was and Im sure they lose viewers each season, its just a matter of HOW MANY viewers need to go before its given the boot.
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  • Avatar of Hennes81

    Hennes81

    [1557]Feb 11, 2012
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    stellarchick86 wrote:
    All I have to say on the subject is that Ive heard that in general NBC would be okay with cutting the show due to budgets but that Lorne is so willing to keep the show on the air that he puts some of his own money into it. Whether or not its true IDK but yeah. Its probably obvious that SNL isnt what it once was and Im sure they lose viewers each season, its just a matter of HOW MANY viewers need to go before its given the boot.


    Of course a live show is more expensive than a regular series. But since SNL is performing better than most of NBC prime time it will be save even if the revenue is smaller. (Also most of SNL repeats have better ratings than most of NBC prime time).


    If you don't believe it look at the NBC ratings (age 14-49) for the week of Jan 29 - Feb 04:


    Sunday: NFL Pro Bowl Pre-Game 3.6, NFL Pro Bowl 4.3


    Monday: Who's Still Standing? 1.7, Fear Factor (repeat) 1.5, Rock Center 0.8


    Tuesday: The Biggest Loser 2.1, Parenthood (repeat) 0.7


    Wednesday: Whitney 1.7, Are you there, Chelsea 1.7, Law&Order: SVU (2 repeats) 1.1 & 1.6


    Thursday: 30 Rock 1.3, Parks & Recreation 1.7, The Office 2.8, Up All Night 1.8, The Firm 0.8


    Friday: Who Do You Think You Are? 1.2, Grimm 1.4, Dateline NBC 1.1


    Saturday:SNL (Tatum/Bon Iver) 2.8


    So maybe the show costs a lot of money. But if a network has no other scripted show that is that interesting to the 14-49s you might just want to keep it even if the revenue for other smaller rated shows are not that goog.


    Btw: I got all numbers from tvbythenumbers.com. Here the information for the Tatum episode:http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/02/05/saturday-night-live-with-channing-tatum-and-bon-iver-preliminary-ratings-about-average-for-the-season/118704/If there were information for the final SNL ratings I would paste them but usually you just get these preliminary numbers...

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  • Avatar of drudager

    drudager

    [1558]Feb 11, 2012
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    Wow, those are some REALLY low numbers. I knew NBC's were bad, but not THAT bad across the board. Plus the Pro Bowl is the worst NFL game of the year, too. I don't know the true percentage, it may be 33% to 50% to 67% of SNL's ratings are based on whom the musical guest is. "30 Rock" has numbers that low and keeps getting renewed every year?? What gives??

    I would imagine SNL is much more expensive to produce since it is a 90 minute show, all those stage props & costumes, actor salaries, outsourcing & MG fees. The Deep House Dish set alone was like half a mil or near a mil to build.
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  • Avatar of thecomedianky

    thecomedianky

    [1559]Feb 11, 2012
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    If it were not for football, NBC would be in a worse condition than it is right now!
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  • Avatar of stellarchick86

    stellarchick86

    [1560]Feb 11, 2012
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    drudager wrote:
    I would imagine SNL is much more expensive to produce since it is a 90 minute show, all those stage props & costumes, actor salaries, outsourcing & MG fees. The Deep House Dish set alone was like half a mil or near a mil to build.


    Exactly. Talk-shows like Leno or Fallon you build one set and youre done. Even shows in primetime have one set and they are done (like Whitney where most of it takes place in their apartment). But with SNL Im sure theres a lot of labor behind it, hence why I said that in the first place a couple of posts up. I guess considering that its pretty much the only show on Saturdays that arent a re-run or anything it keeps going but..
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  • Avatar of Ruckhappy

    Ruckhappy

    [1561]Feb 14, 2012
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    stellarchick86 wrote:
    All I have to say on the subject is that Ive heard that in general NBC would be okay with cutting the show due to budgets but that Lorne is so willing to keep the show on the air that he puts some of his own money into it. Whether or not its true IDK but yeah. Its probably obvious that SNL isnt what it once was and Im sure they lose viewers each season, its just a matter of HOW MANY viewers need to go before its given the boot.


    If you'd read anything about Lorne Michaels' long career, and the way he does business, you'd know that there's no way in hell he'd pay the network to keep SNL on the air. He has been a very astute producer and showbiz businessman from the beginning. You don't survive this long in the biz unless you hew resolutely to the OPM Rule: Always work with Other People's Money.


    The more astute CW is that, except for the first half of Season 1 and the disaster that was Season 6, SNL has always made money. It may not have made as much money as the network would like. Any show that doesn't make ten points over cost is a "loss" to the network because they could just invest the money conventionally with less risk. But showbiz accounting is insanely arcane. We have no idea how much general overhead the network charges off through the show, how they account for promo leverage, etc. The only way to really know how much a network values a show is by how much they want to keep it on the air, and the only way to know that is how much they're willing to pay the principals to keep it going. By all accounts NBC pays Lorne quite handsomely to helm SNL and has for a long time.


    It's highly unlikely that SNL will cancel the show while Lorne still wants to produce it. And if the ratings ever slide to the point that there's a real chance of being cancelled, Lorne will have already orchestrated a glorious swan song to cover pulling the plug on it.

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  • Avatar of HelloStuart

    HelloStuart

    [1562]Feb 14, 2012
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    Ruckhappy wrote:

    stellarchick86 wrote:
    All I have to say on the subject is that Ive heard that in general NBC would be okay with cutting the show due to budgets but that Lorne is so willing to keep the show on the air that he puts some of his own money into it. Whether or not its true IDK but yeah. Its probably obvious that SNL isnt what it once was and Im sure they lose viewers each season, its just a matter of HOW MANY viewers need to go before its given the boot.


    If you'd read anything about Lorne Michaels' long career, and the way he does business, you'd know that there's no way in hell he'd pay the network to keep SNL on the air. He has been a very astute producer and showbiz businessman from the beginning. You don't survive this long in the biz unless you hew resolutely to the OPM Rule: Always work with Other People's Money.


    The more astute CW is that, except for the first half of Season 1 and the disaster that was Season 6, SNL has always made money. It may not have made as much money as the network would like. Any show that doesn't make ten points over cost is a "loss" to the network because they could just invest the money conventionally with less risk. But showbiz accounting is insanely arcane. We have no idea how much general overhead the network charges off through the show, how they account for promo leverage, etc. The only way to really know how much a network values a show is by how much they want to keep it on the air, and the only way to know that is how much they're willing to pay the principals to keep it going. By all accounts NBC pays Lorne quite handsomely to helm SNL and has for a long time.


    It's highly unlikely that SNL will cancel the show while Lorne still wants to produce it. And if the ratings ever slide to the point that there's a real chance of being cancelled, Lorne will have already orchestrated a glorious swan song to cover pulling the plug on it.


    Well put, Ruck. SNL is in no threat of being cancelled, and not for a long, long time. Whether anyone likes it or not, SNL will outlive Lorne and just about anyone else.
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  • Avatar of Ruckhappy

    Ruckhappy

    [1563]Feb 14, 2012
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    In my ideal world it turns out that Amy Sedaris had a secret love child by Michael O'Donoghue before he died and that their comedy super-genius spawn will come out of nowhere to take over SNL. But it'll likely be the reliable Steve Higgins. Just not Seth Meyers, please.
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  • Avatar of HelloStuart

    HelloStuart

    [1564]Feb 14, 2012
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    Ruckhappy wrote:
    In my ideal world it turns out that Amy Sedaris had a secret love child by Michael O'Donoghue before he died and that their comedy super-genius spawn will come out of nowhere to take over SNL. But it'll likely be the reliable Steve Higgins. Just not Seth Meyers, please.

    The media seems to think Tina Fey will be the heir apparent. Regardless, this is nothing we have to worry about for at least another five years.
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  • Avatar of Ruckhappy

    Ruckhappy

    [1565]Feb 14, 2012
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    HelloStuart wrote:
    Ruckhappy wrote:
    In my ideal world it turns out that Amy Sedaris had a secret love child by Michael O'Donoghue before he died and that their comedy super-genius spawn will come out of nowhere to take over SNL. But it'll likely be the reliable Steve Higgins. Just not Seth Meyers, please.
    The media seems to think Tina Fey will be the heir apparent. Regardless, this is nothing we have to worry about for at least another five years.


    Did I miss the announcement that NBC has renewed Lorne's contract?


    At this point Tina could make a lot more money doing films than running SNL. Maybe if her film career cools off 5-10 years down the road, then she might come back to helm the show.

    Edited on 02/14/2012 11:33pm
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  • Avatar of HelloStuart

    HelloStuart

    [1566]Feb 15, 2012
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    Ruckhappy wrote:

    HelloStuart wrote:
    Ruckhappy wrote:
    In my ideal world it turns out that Amy Sedaris had a secret love child by Michael O'Donoghue before he died and that their comedy super-genius spawn will come out of nowhere to take over SNL. But it'll likely be the reliable Steve Higgins. Just not Seth Meyers, please.
    The media seems to think Tina Fey will be the heir apparent. Regardless, this is nothing we have to worry about for at least another five years.


    Did I miss the announcement that NBC has renewed Lorne's contract?


    At this point Tina could make a lot more money doing films than running SNL. Maybe if her film career cools off 5-10 years down the road, then she might come back to helm the show.


    Actually, negotiations are going on as we speak, but there's little to no chance he's walking. I was just thinking of retirement age; so what if he'll be 68 in the Spring...
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  • Avatar of Ruckhappy

    Ruckhappy

    [1567]Feb 16, 2012
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    HelloStuart wrote:
    Actually, negotiations are going on as we speak, but there's little to no chance he's walking. I was just thinking of retirement age; so what if he'll be 68 in the Spring...


    That's what I assumed.


    Of course, in the biz once a honcho like Lorne signs what is assumed to be his last contract, the jockeying usually starts immediately to replace the departing titan.

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  • Avatar of JustinRAn

    JustinRAn

    [1568]Feb 18, 2012
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    HelloStuart wrote:
    Ruckhappy wrote:

    HelloStuart wrote:
    Ruckhappy wrote:
    In my ideal world it turns out that Amy Sedaris had a secret love child by Michael O'Donoghue before he died and that their comedy super-genius spawn will come out of nowhere to take over SNL. But it'll likely be the reliable Steve Higgins. Just not Seth Meyers, please.
    The media seems to think Tina Fey will be the heir apparent. Regardless, this is nothing we have to worry about for at least another five years.


    Did I miss the announcement that NBC has renewed Lorne's contract?


    At this point Tina could make a lot more money doing films than running SNL. Maybe if her film career cools off 5-10 years down the road, then she might come back to helm the show.


    Actually, negotiations are going on as we speak, but there's little to no chance he's walking. I was just thinking of retirement age; so what if he'll be 68 in the Spring...


    Well 30 Rock will probably get another season (+/- Depending on how you feel about this season.) Lorne will probably have another year to make up his mind.
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    thecomedianky

    [1569]Feb 19, 2012
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    I could see Tina doing several more films with Steve Carell, especially after her show ends it's run.
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  • Avatar of HelloStuart

    HelloStuart

    [1570]Feb 19, 2012
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    thecomedianky wrote:
    I could see Tina doing several more films with Steve Carell, especially after her show ends it's run.

    Um... she's only made one so far.
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