Thursday, August 9, 2012

TV Guide Survey of TV's Highest Paid Stars

TV Guide is once again out with its 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:

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

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