Sunday, August 14, 2011

Who are the Highest Paid TV Stars?

TV Guide released its annual salary survey this week.  Here is the 2011 list, which includes some performers who haven't even hit the airwaves in these roles yet:

Ashton Kutcher – $700,000 per episode (Two and a Half Men)
Jon Cryer – $600,000 per episode (Two and a Half Men)
Patrick Dempsey – $275,000 per episode (Grey’s Anatomy)
Kate Walsh – $275,000 per episode (Private Practice)
Johnny Galecki – $250,000 per episode (The Big Bang Theory)
Kaley Cuoco – $250,000 per episode (The Big Bang Theory)
Jim Parsons – $250,000 per episode (The Big Bang Theory)
Angus T. Jones – $225,000 per episode (Two and a Half Men)
Tim Allen- $225,000 per episode (Last Man Standing)
Kiefer Sutherland – $225,000 per episode (Touch)
Ted Danson – $225,000 per episode (CSI)
Tom Bergeron – $150,000 per episode (Dancing With The Stars)
Nick Cannon – $70,000 per episode (America's Got Talent)
Cat Deeley – $60,000 per episode (So You Think You Can Dance)
David Letterman – $28 million per year (Late Show with David Letterman)
Jay Leno – $25 million per year (Tonight Show)
Ryan Seacrest – $15 million per season (American Idol)
Anderson Cooper – $11 million per year (syndicated talk show and anchoring on CNN)
Jimmy Fallon – $5 million per year (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon)

Of the news/news talk types, Matt Lauer earns $17 million a year for the Today show, which is $4 million more than Brian Williams who anchors NBC's Nightly News broadcast.  Diane Sawyer makes $12 million from ABC, just a tad more than Bill O'Reilly's $10 million from Fox News Channel.  Keith Olbermann is getting $10 million a year and an equity stake in Current TV.

TV Guide reports that some TV news personalities are making less than their predecessors and even their own prior salaries.  It says after Katie Couric left the CBS Evening News, Scott Pelley started at under a third of her $15 million a year.  Regis Philbin is leaving Live! instead of taking a cut in his $15 million salary. And Piers Morgan is getting less than a third of what Larry King earned during his final year at CNN.

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