The Salary of a Sitcom Director

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The Directors Guild of America is the union body that sets the minimum pay rate for sitcom directors. Sitcoms, or situational comedies, are typically half-hour shows. The salary schedule changes when the DGA negotiates new contracts with television and cable networks. The DGA salary schedule is just the minimum salary allowed and established sitcom directors can earn much higher amounts.

Non-cable Television Minimums

  • The minimum salary for a sitcom director for a network prime-time show is $23,580 per episode, according to the Directors Guild as of 2011 - 2012. If it takes more than seven days to prepare and shoot the episode, additional pay is $3,369 per day. For a non-network and/or non-prime-time show, the minimum salary is $10,188 per episode. If it takes more than six days to prepare and shoot the episode, the additional pay is $1,698 per day. If a sitcom director is getting paid on a daily rate, such as guest director, the pay is $4,211 per day for a network prime-time show and $2,123 per day for a non-network and/or non-prime-time show.

Basic Cable Television Minimums -- Rate One

  • For a sitcom on cable television that has a per-episode budget of equal to or greater than $550,000 per episode, the minimum salary is $10,188 per episode. This is typically for sitcoms in their first season. If it takes more than six days to prepare and shoot the episode, the additional pay is $1,698 per day. If a sitcom director is getting paid on a daily rate, such as guest director, the pay is $2,123 per day.

Basic Cable Television Minimums -- Rate Two

  • For a sitcom on cable television that has a per-episode budget of equal to or greater than $1.43 million per episode in season one or less than $1.8 million per episode in season two or later, the minimum salary is $12,850 per episode. If it takes more than seven days to prepare and shoot the episode, the additional pay is $1,836 per day. If a sitcom director is getting paid on a daily rate, such as guest director, the pay is $2,295 per day.

Basic Cable Television Minimums -- Rate Three

  • For a sitcom on cable television that has a per-episode budget of equal to or greater than $1.8 million per episode in season two or later, the minimum salary is $15,000 per episode. If it takes more than seven days to prepare and shoot the episode, the additional pay is $2,143 per day. If a sitcom director is getting paid on a daily rate, such as guest director, the pay is $2,679 per day.

References

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