Many successful (broadcast, United States) TV shows last about 5-7 seasons. Somehow I'd gotten this story in my head in which this was a combination of two factors:
- TV shows become more attractive candidates for syndication once they've aired about 100 episodes, which usually means 5 seasons.
- The SAG pay scale for series regulars increases as the series goes on, and generally becomes unsustainable somewhere around season 6 or 7.
I can find a ton of references for the first bullet point (starting with this Wikipedia article), so I'm reasonably convinced it's true. On the other hand, I'm having trouble finding any evidence for the second one. I've poked through the SAG rate sheets and haven't found anything that varies by season, but they're complicated enough that I could believe I'd missed something (and in any case they only give the current pay scale and not its history, and won't tell me much about how affordable the pay increases are).
Is something like the second bullet point actually true? If so, is there a good reference I can use to convince myself of it?