list of highest paid TV stars. Topping the list is Judge Judy Sheindlin who earns $45 million per year. Second is David Letterman ($28 million), followed by Jay Leno ($25 million).
Others making more than $10 million are: Judge Joe Brown ($20 million), Kelly Ripa ($20 million), Mariah Carey (American Idol) ($17 million), Jon Stewart ($16 million), Howard Stern (America's Got Talent) ($15 million), Bill O'Reilly ($15 million), Diane Sawyer ($12 million) and Anderson Cooper, (Anderson Cooper 360 and Anderson Live) ($11 million).
It's interesting that acting doesn't pay as much as I would have expected. Ashton Kutcher is the highest paid TV actor, earning $700,000 per episode for Two and a Half Men on CBS. For a 23-episode run, that's $16 million. Pretty good, but not Letterman/Leno money, but then again he only works part of the year and he's not a creator as they are.
Mark Harmon of NCIS, Ellen Pompeo of Grey's Anatomy and Kaley Cuoco of The Big Bang Theory make $500,000, $350,000 and $300,000 per episode. After that, typical salaries are between $100 K and $175K per episode, which averages out to $3.1 million per year. Again, those folks are nowhere near the top 10.
Here's the breakdown. The whole story from TV Guide is available at: http://www.tvguide.com/News/TVs-Highest-Paid-Stars-1051754.aspx?rss=breakingnews.
Drama (per episode)
Mark Harmon (NCIS): $500,000
Ellen Pompeo (Grey's Anatomy): $350,000
Kevin Bacon (The Following): $175,000
Lucy Liu (Elementary): $125,000
Stephen Amell (Arrow): $30,000
Comedy (per episode)
Ashton Kutcher (Two and a Half Men): $700,000
Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory): $300,000
Modern Family Adult Cast: $175,000 each
Lea Michele (Glee): $75,000
Crystal the Monkey (Animal Practice): $12,000
Late Night (per year)
David Letterman: $28 million
Jay Leno: $25 million
Jon Stewart: $16 million
Craig Ferguson: $8 million
Chelsea Handler: $8 million
Daytime/Syndication (per year)
Judy Sheindlin (Judge Judy): $45 million
Joe Brown (Judge Joe Brown): $20 million
Kelly Ripa (Live! With Kelly): $20 million
Sherri Shepherd (The View): $1.5 million
Mario Batali (The Chew): $6,000 per episode
Mariah Carey (American Idol): $17 million per season
Howard Stern (America's Got Talent): $15 million per season
Pauly DelVecchio (Jersey Shore): $175,000 per episode
Betty White (Off Their Rockers): $50,000 per episode
Landry Family (Swamp People): $25,000 per episode
News (per year)
Matt Lauer (Today): $21.5 million
Bill O'Reilly (The O'Reilly Factor): $15 million
Diane Sawyer (ABC World News): $12 million
Anderson Cooper (Anderson Cooper 360 and Anderson Live): $11 million
Robin Meade (HLN anchor): $750,000