The time has come for us all to get a little bit jealous and reconsider our current career paths. Why? Oh, because the official TV Guide list of the highest paid television stars in the business is coming out, and it’s making us all stare sadly into our comparatively empty pocketbooks. So, who tops the list? Is it a late night host? Oscar-winning actor? Grammy-sporting billionaire? Would you be mad if we just said yes?
The list hits newstands on August 22 in TV Guide’s print magazine, but they’ve released a preview featuring some of the top paid folks in several of our favorite categories.
Topping the late night game is The Daily Show host Jon Stewart, who earns 25-30 million dollars per year, beating out Jay Leno and David Letterman (both of whom get about $20 million). For reality shows, we were surprised that X Factor judge Simon Cowell didn’t make the cut, but his production company does own major stake in the show in both the USA and UK. The top earning judge was Howard Stern of America’s Got Talent, who earned $15 million last year (Wait, didn’t Britney Spears get that too?).
Other reality studs who made the list include American Idol’s Keith Urban, who pulls in $5 million a year, The Voice’s Blake Shelton, who gets $4 million per cycle, and RuPaul, who is totally robbed makes $50,000 per episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
On the acting side of things, Ashton Kutcher reigned supreme with his $750K per episode for Two and a Half Men. That’s more than triple what the next highest earner makes — that would be HIMYM’s Jason Segel, with $225K. Mark Harmon of NCIS has one of the sweetest deals of all time, making $525,000 plus points per episode. On the female front, Claire Danes ($250K for each episode of Homeland), Amy Poehler ($200K/episode of Parks & Rec), and Tatiana Maslany ($50K for Orphan Black) were the only actresses to make the cut.
But the number one highest paid person on television? Oh, that would be Judge Judy Sheindlin, who pulls in a whopping $47 MILLION per year. Hmm… we wouldn’t mind passing judgement on some crazy cases. Pass the gavel, Judy!
Source: TV Guide