Amazon has scored Robert De Niro's first TV series as it continues to beef up its Prime Video content in its war against Netflix.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the new mafia drama will star De Niro and fellow Oscar winner Julianne Moore. It will be directed by David O'Russell, whose previous work includes "Silver Lining Playbook" and "American Hustle."
But De Niro's new show won't come cheap for Amazon. It's reportedly paying $160 million for the 16-episode show, while De Niro is getting paid $850,000 per episode.
That would make De Niro one of the highest paid actors on TV, right behind the three lead costars of "The Big Bang Theory," who are each getting paid $1 million a pop, based on Variety's estimates. "Gilmore Girls" Lauren Graham gets $750,000 per show, while Kevin Spacey gets $500,000 for each "House of Cards" episode, Variety says. The highest paid actor among Amazon shows is Jeffrey Tambor from "Transparent" at $275,000 per show.
Amazon has been stepping up its investment in its Prime Video service lately. In a clear sign that it's going after Netflix, Amazon made its video service available to non-Prime members in April, launching a standalone video service that can be purchased month by month. Prior to that, Prime Video was only available through the $99 annual Prime membership, which gives access to two-day free shipping and a bunch of video and music content.
It's also doubling its spend on video content in the second half of this year, compared to last year, CFO Brian Olsavsky said in the most recent earnings call. Amazon last disclosed its investment amount on video content back in 2014, when it spent a total of $1.3 billion.
De Niro is the latest high-profile movie star to make the transition to TV. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are part of HBO's "True Detective," while Netflix recently landed Jonah Hill and Emma Stone for its new series "Maniac."
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