‘Seinfeld’ Ending Doubled Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser’s ‘Mad About You’ Salaries
It’s official: the ’90s are back. Both shows and movies from the beloved decade are getting rebooted, which helping old sitcoms like Friends and Gilmore Girls gain a whole new generation of fans. One show that came back is Mad About You, which originally aired in the early to mid-’90s. The reboot aired in 2019, and people who hadn’t even heard of the original show became adoring fans.
Most people probably don’t know that the stars of Mad About You, Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser, were given an enormous pay increase – and they have another famous ’90s sitcom to thank.
‘Mad About You’ was a popular show in the ’90s
Mad About You was a family-friendly sitcom that first aired in 1992. It featured Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser as married New Yorkers Jamie and Paul Buchman, and fans loved laughing as they watched the couple navigate everyday life and relationships. Mad About You actually was on-air at the same time as another ’90s favorite, Friends, and the two shows had a crossover episode at one time to the delight of fans everywhere.
The sitcom was immensely successful, winning 12 Emmy awards and a Golden Globe during its 8-season run. Mad About You was so popular, in fact, that they released a reboot last year, which featured Jamie and Paul 20 years after the show left off, navigating a new chapter in their lives. The new version of the show was only available on the Spectrum network, much to the disappointment of Netflix and Hulu users.
What about ‘Seinfeld’?
Younger generations may not remember Mad About You, but there’s no doubt that everyone, young or old, is familiar with Seinfeld. This show, co-created by its namesake Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, was a sensation at the time and has earned so many fans through the years that many consider it a timeless classic. The show doesn’t really have a plotline per se, which is what makes the show charming, but it follows a stand-up comic, Jerry Seinfeld, who lives in New York City and navigates hilarious situations alongside his friends. Along with Seinfeld himself, some of the show’s co-stars are Julia Louis-Dreyfus (playing Elaine), Michael Richards (playing Kramer), and Jason Alexander (playing George).
The show had reached such enormous levels of success that the four stars were making $1 million an episode. Even though he was raking it in, Seinfeld himself decided to call the show quits after 9 seasons. He later revealed a bizarre reason for not wanting to create 10 seasons of the show. “9 is cool. 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,” Seinfeld told Vanity Fair in 1998. Weird, but regardless, Seinfeld came to an end and the network was left without their top hit.
The finale of ‘Seinfeld’ helped ‘Mad About You’ stars get more money
Hunt and Reiser actually almost didn’t come back for the seventh season of Mad About You. One of the reasons they ended up doing so was thanks to Jerry Seinfeld deciding to end his show. When the network lost Seinfeld as its main contender, they were desperate to keep their other popular shows on the air. Hunt and Reiser made $250,000 per episode, but in the show’s final season, because of the network’s loss of Seinfeld, they were offered $1 million per episode, according to Mental Floss. That was obviously hard to turn down, so fans were gifted with a seventh season!