Stranger Things Season 5 Now Has One of the Most Expensive TV Casts Ever

Stranger Things Season 5 Now Has One of the Most Expensive TV Casts Ever
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The cast of Stranger Things is getting paid as lavishly as its final season's overall budget suggests.

Stranger Things started with a significant, but unexceptional budget of $6 million per episode, but by Season 4 its budget reached the very much exceptional number of $30 million per episode – this exceeds every TV series in existence, save for The Rings of Power.

For its fifth and final season the budget is likely to be even higher. What part of that budget goes into the pockets of actors, however?

A pretty large one, as it happens.

By now, the cast of Stranger Things closed their deals for the salaries of Season 5, the final season of the series. The cast presented a united from to the studio during negotiations, and managed to strike quite a bargain. Though we don't have an exact number, the total seems to be around $80 million, according to IndieWire.

The cast consists roughly of 20 actors receiving starring billing, but of course that amount is not distributed evenly among them. Rather, the actors are divided into tiers, with everyone assigned to the same tier receiving the same salary. Notable exception: Millie Bobby Brown, who did not take part in discussions due to her existing overall deal with Netflix.

The first tier consists of Winona Ryder and David Harbour, by far the most significant names among the cast, who will get salaries of $9.5 million for Season 5.

The second tier, consisting of Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Finn Wolfhard and Sadie Sink, will get $7 million each.

The third tier, which includes Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, and Maya Hawke – $6 million each. Everyone else is in the fourth tier, and will receive much smaller amounts, sharing the remaining few millions among themselves.

Nearly a million of dollars per episode (Season 5 of Stranger Things is going to be 8 episodes long) is huge, at the very upper boundary of TV actor salaries, and over a million – well, that is practically unprecedented.

For example, the six principal cast members of Friends each received a million per episode for its final, tenth season back in 2003-2004.

As for more recent examples, the five biggest stars of Game of Thrones' closing seasons – Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – each got estimated $500 thousands per episode for Seasons 7 and 8. The main cast of The Big Band Theory was getting $900 thousands per episode by the series' end, according to Variety.