- Apple is reportedly paying Reese Witherspoon $1.25 million per episode for an upcoming, untitled original series also starring Jennifer Aniston.
- According to The Hollywood Reporter, Apple’s willingness to invest a lot of money in top-tier talent had a heavy influence on Witherspoon’s deal with HBO for season two of “Big Little Lies.”
- Witherspoon’s salary for season two of the hit HBO series is tripling, as is Nicole Kidman’s (who won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her performance).
Apple’s big checkbook has reportedly made HBO shell out much more money for “Big Little Lies” season two.
Apple is spending an estimated $1 billion on original content this year, as part of a push into TV. And it’s spending a lot of that money on A-list stars. Apple paid over $1.25 million per episode to Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon for its currently untitled 20-episode drama about a TV morning show, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
And Witherspoon’s enormous Apple paycheck had a heavy influence on her tripled salary for season two of HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” THR reported.
The Emmy and Golden Globe-winning HBO drama was intended to be a one-season limited series. But it was such a hit that HBO ordered a second season. And to make the second season a reality, HBO had to make new deals with the stars, who did not have a second season in their contracts.
Sources told THR that Witherspoon and co-star Nicole Kidman were paid between $250,000 and $350,000 per episode for season one, which had seven episodes total. The sources also told THR that because of Witherspoon’s Apple deal, the per episode pay for Witherspoon and Kidman for season two is about a million dollars, nearly tripling their season one pay.
Co-stars Zoë Kravitz and Shailene Woodley are also rumored to be getting a significant raise.
HBO’s programming president told THR, “It’s not a shock to anybody that having a second season of an ongoing series is easier to have with those deals in place. Everybody involved is so busy that it’s hard to imagine aligning everybody’s schedule again. That we were able to get season two together is a small miracle.”
Season two of “Big Little Lies” is set to shoot in the spring, but won’t air until 2019.