Do The Chosen Actors Get Paid Per Episode?

by Barbara

The entertainment industry is often shrouded in mystery, especially regarding the financial aspects of television production. One question that frequently arises is how actors are compensated for their work. Specifically, in the case of “The Chosen,” a popular series based on the life of Jesus Christ, fans and industry professionals alike are curious about how the cast members are paid. This article delves into the compensation structure for actors on “The Chosen,” exploring whether they are paid per episode, the factors influencing their pay, and how this aligns with industry standards.

The Chosen: A Unique Production Model

Before we address the payment structure, it’s essential to understand the unique production model of “The Chosen.” Unlike traditional television series funded by networks or major studios, “The Chosen” is a crowdfunded project. This financing approach has garnered significant attention and has become a cornerstone of its identity. The series was launched through one of the most successful media crowdfunding campaigns, raising millions of dollars from fans worldwide. This grassroots support has allowed “The Chosen” to operate with a level of creative freedom uncommon in the industry.


Compensation Structure: Per Episode Payment

Are actors on “The Chosen” paid per episode? The answer is yes, but with nuances that reflect the series’ unique financial model. In the television industry, it is standard for actors to receive payment on a per-episode basis, especially for scripted series. This model applies to “The Chosen” as well. However, the specifics of these payments can vary widely based on several factors, including the actor’s role, experience, and the overall budget of the series.


Key Factors Influencing Pay

Role and Screen Time

The primary factor influencing an actor’s pay is their role and screen time. Leading roles, such as Jesus, played by Jonathan Roumie, command higher pay due to the significant screen presence and the responsibility of carrying the narrative. Supporting actors and guest stars typically receive lower compensation, reflecting their more limited screen time and impact on the storyline.


Experience and Negotiation

An actor’s experience and prior success in the industry can also affect their pay. Established actors with a strong portfolio can negotiate higher salaries based on their track record and the value they bring to the production. For “The Chosen,” this means that actors with notable previous work may receive higher per-episode payments compared to those who are newer to the industry.

Crowdfunding Budget

The crowdfunding nature of “The Chosen” introduces a unique dynamic to the compensation structure. The series’ budget, sourced from fan contributions, directly impacts how much the production can afford to pay its cast and crew. While traditional series might rely on steady financial backing from networks or studios, “The Chosen” must operate within the confines of its crowdfunded budget, which can fluctuate based on the success of its fundraising campaigns.

Comparison with Industry Standards

To contextualize the compensation on “The Chosen,” it’s helpful to compare it with broader industry standards. In Hollywood, actors on major network shows or high-budget streaming series can earn substantial salaries. For example, stars of popular network dramas or comedies can earn anywhere from $100,000 to over $1 million per episode, depending on their role and the show’s success.

In contrast, actors on smaller, independent, or crowdfunded projects like “The Chosen” typically earn less. This is not necessarily a reflection of the project’s quality but rather its financial resources. While exact figures for “The Chosen” are not publicly disclosed, it’s reasonable to assume that the per-episode pay for its actors is lower than that of actors on high-budget network or streaming shows.

See also: 4 Reasons Why Ramah Was Killed In The Chosen

The Impact of Streaming and Digital Distribution

The rise of streaming platforms and digital distribution has significantly altered the landscape of television production and actor compensation. Traditional models, where actors received residuals from syndication and reruns, are evolving. For a series like “The Chosen,” which is available on its own app and various streaming platforms, the revenue model differs from traditional TV.

Actors on streaming shows often have different contract structures that may include upfront payments, bonuses based on viewership metrics, and other incentives. While “The Chosen” operates outside the mainstream streaming giants, it likely incorporates some of these elements to attract and retain talent.

Residuals and Long-Term Earnings

Residuals, or payments for reruns and continued distribution of a series, have historically been a significant source of income for actors. In the context of “The Chosen,” the nature of its distribution model raises questions about residual payments. Given that the series is crowdfunded and distributed through its own app and various online platforms, the traditional residual structure may not apply.

However, the series’ success and continued popularity could lead to alternative forms of long-term earnings for its cast. This could include profit-sharing agreements or bonuses tied to the series’ financial performance. As “The Chosen” expands its reach and continues to attract viewers, these alternative compensation models could provide ongoing income for the actors involved.

The Role of Unions and Contracts

Unions, such as the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), play a crucial role in protecting actors’ rights and ensuring fair compensation. For a project like “The Chosen,” which may operate outside traditional studio systems, the involvement of unions can help standardize pay and working conditions.

Actors on “The Chosen” who are union members are entitled to minimum pay rates, benefits, and protections established by SAG-AFTRA. These union guidelines ensure that even on a crowdfunded project, actors receive fair treatment and compensation. Contracts negotiated under union rules also provide transparency and security for the actors involved.

Financial Transparency and Ethical Considerations

Given its crowdfunding model, “The Chosen” maintains a level of financial transparency with its supporters. This transparency extends to how funds are allocated, including actor compensation. Fans who contribute to the series often have a vested interest in ensuring that their money is used ethically and effectively.

The production team’s commitment to transparency helps build trust with its audience and ensures that compensation practices align with the values of the community supporting the project. Ethical considerations, such as fair pay, respectful working conditions, and financial accountability, are integral to maintaining this trust and sustaining the series’ success.


The question of whether actors on “The Chosen” get paid per episode is affirmatively answered, but with considerations unique to its production model. The per-episode pay structure is influenced by factors such as role prominence, actor experience, and the series’ crowdfunded budget. While this model differs from traditional network or high-budget streaming productions, it aligns with the broader industry trends seen in independent and crowdfunded projects.

“The Chosen” stands as a testament to the evolving landscape of television production, where innovative funding models and digital distribution are reshaping how actors are compensated. As the series continues to grow in popularity, its financial practices and compensation structures will likely evolve, reflecting the dynamic nature of the entertainment industry. Through transparency and ethical considerations, “The Chosen” maintains a balanced approach to actor compensation, ensuring fair treatment while honoring the support and trust of its dedicated fan base.

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