It used to be that stars could get paid US$1 million (S$1.36 million) a TV episode, but only when the show, like Friends, became an enduring, mega hit.
Now, with intense bidding for talent in the streaming war, which has drawn new players like Apple TV Plus, HBO Max and Disney Plus, Nicole Kidman, Jeff Bridges, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell are getting that big payday - even with untested, new projects.
According to trade publication Variety, Apple TV Plus is paying Jennifer Aniston and Witherspoon more than US$1 million an episode to star in The Morning Show.
Kidman (Nine Perfect Strangers, from Hulu), Bridges (The Old Man, from FX), Witherspoon and Kerry Washington (Little Fires Everywhere, from Hulu) and Carell (Space Force, from Netflix) have also joined the big-money club.
Pundits said the entertainment business is tough so the new players are banking on proven names to make an impression straightaway with viewers and drive up subscriptions.
Variety quoted an agent as saying: "Every actor is available now. They used to say: 'No interest in TV.' But I wouldn't even take someone like Leonardo DiCaprio off the table.
"Why wouldn't Leo do an eight-episode limited series? It's as good as a movie."
While the huge salaries may seem like a desperate move from producers, observers note too that the contracts typically do not allow for the actors to cash in later.
In the old days, artists could get a cut of other revenues, like merchandising and syndication, if the show became a hit and was rebroadcast again, like Friends.
Pundits are also speculating whether the US$2 million an episode landmark can be reached.
The consensus is yes, but only if a giant like DiCaprio, Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt signs on the dotted line.