Why Jerry Seinfeld Didn’t Want to Do 10 Seasons of ‘Seinfeld’

Seinfeld, the beloved, massively successful show could have lived beyond Season 9. But according to Jerry Seinfeld, he didn’t want to sign on for Season 10 for a very specific reason. Learn why the actor and comedian turned down Season 10 of Seinfeld ahead. 

Why Jerry Seinfeld didn’t want Season 10 of ‘Seinfeld’ to happen

By Season 9 of Seinfeld, the main cast members Jerry Seinfeld (Jerry Seinfeld), Michael Richards (Cosmo Kramer), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Elaine Benes), and Jason Alexander (George Costanza) were earning $1 million per episode. 

Seinfeld’s paychecks were even larger because of royalties he earned on syndication rights. So, why did he turn down earning even more money on Season 10 of his namesake TV series? 

Michael Richards as Cosmo Kramer, Jason Alexander as George Costanza, Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes, Jerry Seinfeld as Jerry Seinfeld.
Pictured: (l-r) Michael Richards as Cosmo Kramer, Jason Alexander as George Costanza, Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes, Jerry Seinfeld as Jerry Seinfeld. | Andrew Eccles/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Because of his fascination with the number nine.

According to Yahoo, Seinfeld explained his reasoning behind ending the show with Season 9 in a 1998 interview with Vanity Fair.

Here’s what the article said: “Jerry Seinfeld loves the number nine. It is significant to him, an auspicious number. He was born in ’54 (5+4=9), graduated from high school in ’72 (7+2=9), first appeared on The Tonight Show in ’81 (8+1=9), and Seinfeld premiered in 1989 (1+9+8+9=27; 2+7=9). His show comes on at 9 p.m., and this, the last season of Seinfeld, will be the ninth. It will end in 1998, which, again, equals 27, and yes, 2 plus 7 equals 9. “Nine is cool,” Seinfeld says gleefully. “By the end, we will have done 180 shows (1+8=9). When I was thinking about quitting the show, I thought, nine. People said, ’10 — why not 10?’ But 10 is lame. Nine is my number. And then I found out that nine in numerology means completion.”

Fans didn’t like the series finale but Seinfeld and Larry David did

Seinfeld fans were unhappy with the way the show ended but Seinfeld and his co-creator of the show, Larry David, were happy with the series finale. 

In 2014, David called the final episode of the show “clever,” according to Mental Floss. He also noted neither he or Seinfeld wanted the finale to be “an emotional ride.” 

Last scene of Seinfeld. | YouTube

As for the show’s namesake, he said in a 2014 Reddit AMA, or Ask Me Anything, that he “was happy with the Seinfeld finale.” 

He went on to say that continuing the show had become less about the characters and more about the actors and those who worked on the series getting back together. 

The cast and crew of the hit television show "Seinfeld" pose on set during the last days of filming the final episode, April 3, 1998 in Studio City, California.. From left to right in the front row are actors Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Elaine), Jason Alexander (George), Jerry Seinfeld (Jerry), Michael Richards (Kramer), and director Andy Ackerman.
The cast and crew of the hit television show Seinfeld pose on set during the last days of filming the final episode, April 3, 1998, in Studio City, California. From left to right in the front row are actors Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Elaine), Jason Alexander (George), Jerry Seinfeld (Jerry), Michael Richards (Kramer), and director Andy Ackerman. | David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

“We didn’t want to do another episode as much as we wanted to have everybody come back to the show we had so much fun with. It was a way to thank all of the people who worked on the show over the years that we thought made the show work.”

But he did reveal at the New Yorker Festival in October of 2017, he had doubts about the finale, saying he had second thoughts about the way it turned out.

Want to watch Seinfeld? Read our guide on how to watch the show.