Selma Blair

Flynet

Why are prominent film actors, like Simon Baker & Selma Blair, starring in TV series? Isn't it in their interest to stay in movies?
—Jess, West Hollywood, Calif.

No offense to Selma Blair—after all, no one does puckered and bitter better than her, even when she's engulfed in flames—but prominent? Really? She has a solid history as a supporting actress, ranging from Hellboy to tripping along behind Cameron Diaz in The Sweetest Thing. But in showbiz, that's not really prominent—more like slightly convex.

In fact, it's that lifelong status as a B-lister that may have attracted Blair to her new TV role in Kath and Kim, where she is a clear costar alongside Molly Shannon. Blair is now a titular character—the Kim to Shannon's Kath. And there's another, much greener, reason why Blair likely agreed to the role. Think that sitcom actors make chump change? Think again ...

"It's not unusual to be getting $200,000 an episode, at least, for someone fairly successful," entertainment attorney Larry Stein tells me. "And you're looking at 22 or 24 episodes a year."

Don't bother clicking on your computer desktop calculator. Here, let me add that up for you: About $4.4 million a season. And that doesn't account for syndication.

"Literally," Stein says, "good actors can make tens of millions of dollars in syndication income if a series goes long enough and is successful enough."

And should the whole thing fail, Blair has little to worry about. There's always Hellboy III: Demonic Boogaloo.

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