Soap opera has been in a long run in the entertainment industry. Since the growth of radio and televisions, the soap opera industry has grown pretty nicely. However, nowadays a fall is being observed in the soap opera industry. Aside from that, there is a constant need for content that can engage as many audiences as they can. Even in this period of growing entertainment industry and the presence of various content producing companies, soap opera has marked its presence. The growth of soap opera is a remark that this industry is a quite profitable one, which helps the people related to the industry in earning a fortune. But we must know that a coin has both sides heads and tails, therefore, there are some cons to it as well, that we will get to know about in 3,2,1. Here, we’ll know ‘How much do soap opera stars make?’
What is Soap opera?
A drama serial that revolves around the relatable events that are broadcasted on television and radio is how a soap opera can be described. These shows are filled with melodrama, domestic situations, and sentiments which makes them even more famous among the housemakers. The name soap opera came into existence when soap manufacturers used to sponsor radio dramas. Soap operas are generally described as the show that ends the episode with a hook that the upcoming episode will be offering something more. It has a loop to engage the audience. The first-ever soap opera is considered to be “Painted Dreams” which premiered on WGN radio Chicago on the 20th of October 1930. The plot of soap operas nearly revolves around relationships, emotions, family or personal drama, romance, hate, and relatable kinds of stuff. Soap opera usually focuses on day-to-day situations. The characters are shown in a more familiar way that makes them more attached to the viewers.
The soap operas are basically of two types Daytime soaps/serials and Primetime soaps/serials. Daytime soaps tend to last for a long time, they are broadcasted 5 days a week. These have a large cast and crew. The storyline is extended for so long that it can cause the replacement of actors, writers, cast, and crew. While Primetime soaps are broadcasted two hours a week and they are usually not broadcasted in summer times. The primetime soaps are considered rare, on the other hand, daytime soaps are labeled cheap.
- Daytime Soap – The first Daytime soap was “These are my children” which was broadcasted in the year 1949. Daytime soaps are made with the purpose to go on for a long period. They are broadcasted 5 days a week throughout the year. These shows are usually hour-long, this wasn’t the case from the beginning. Previously the shows were only 15 minutes long, then they expanded to half an hour and now they run for a whole hour. The daytime soaps are low budget; therefore, they are recorded with videotapes using a multi-camera setup. Daytime soap operas seem to decline in the country after the 2000s.
- Primetime Soaps – The first-ever primetime soap was “Faraway Hill” which was released in the year 1946. Primetime soaps are broadcasted 2 days a week and some of them even take a summer break. These used to broadcast an hour a week till the 1960s, but due to their popularity, they are now broadcasted 1 hour a day. Primetime soaps are recorded in films using a single-camera setup. This made the video quality of the show far better than daytime soaps.
How much do soap opera stars make?
The earning of soap opera stars is based on some basics like in which soap the actor works, if they are the lead actor or supporting one, the popularity of the soap, how many lines do they have, and how much it earns, how much the producers are willing to pay, and if you are popular enough to be offered that much of fortune. The popularity of the show affects the earnings as the popularity brings money to the makers and they offer some part of it to the actors and workers. The lead actors are paid more than the supportive ones, the popularity and the name of the actor depend on how much the makers will offer. This might change for some particular persons or group which is a con, which would be discussed too.
The average earning of soap stars is $57,100. On average, the actors earn $1000 for an episode while the supporting actors can have $200 per episode. But all these earnings are not that comfortable as the casts and crews are easily replaceable. Their source of income is not a permanent one. Once you are established you are worth earning a standard amount of money. But that might take a long time and it has a difficult path to follow. Being established provides you the advantage in earning as you can earn up to $3,000 per episode. Some of them even earn $5,000 per episode, the number of people that earn that much is not that much though.
Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon are the highest-paid persons in the television industry as they are paid $2 million for “The Morning Show”. This amount may seem less but that amount can lead you to a great net worth. The soap actors have assets worth millions of dollars. The luxuries that came along with the profession are not just a few, the stars are surrounded by fame and spotlights, the gathering with influential peoples, and the list goes on.
But, do all the stars earn the same?
These earnings are not always the same for all of the stars, we are not living in an ideal world where there is no discrimination. The soap opera industry has not been untouchable from this discrimination. Let us look at some of the cases so that you will be well informed and you will get to know the fluctuation of earnings in the soap opera industry. We are aware of the discrimination black people are facing and how it had affected the whole country. Racism has been an issue for the people working in the soap opera industry as well. Some of the stars have thrown a light on the discrimination they have faced and how they are paid comparatively less amount than the white cast.
Kat Graham a Hollywood actor best known to play the part of Bonnie Bennett in The Vampire Diaries has raised her voice against the behavior of others towards a girl of a different race. This was not just in sets, she even faced it in the interviews, promotions, awards, and gatherings. Another example we got to know was when Ellen Pompeo best known for working in Gray’s Anatomy raised her voice against unequal payments. Even after being one of the lead actors in the series Ellen did not get the amount that her fellow male actors were. It shows how women are treated. Discrimination is not a new thing neither is “unequal pay”, but the sad part is that it is still going on in this century where we pretend to be more open-minded and unjudgmental than ever.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How does a soap opera star earn their name?
Soap opera stars establish themselves with their talent which is the most important thing for a soap opera star. Acting skills play a vital role in making them famous and known. Then the popularity of the soap is what makes them reachable in every corner of the country and can even reach throughout the globe. Their presence among the audience matters too. Brand promotions, being in the ads and posters. Constant appearances in talk shows. Awards and honors attract producers and directors towards working with them. All these factors are responsible for the rise of soap opera stars.
- Do soap opera stars earn constantly?
There is no such thing as constant earning in the soap opera industry. Soap opera actors can get replaced easily as many have a contract that is not for the long term. Some of the actors even work with a contract of a few days and so on. Their influence matters too with how they interact with their fellow cast and crew members. This profession is not at all stable; therefore, the stars have to maintain their shine to stay in the spot.
- How do soap opera stars earn after the soap?
Soap opera stars do not just depend on the income from the soap opera. Some have the savings from their previous show, while some are helped by the investments they made in different fields. For example, many actors start their businesses or brands by the earnings from the soap opera. Then everyone has their way to make money.
- What is a step up after working on a soap opera?
If you had worked in a soap opera and you want to move out of the industry, you have a variety of options. You can become a host of a talk show or any other show, you can step into the movie industry, or you can be a part of web series because OTT platforms are very famous nowadays thanks to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Apple tv, Disney+, HBO Max, and many more.