TV's Highest Paid Stars: What They Earn 2014

Discussion in 'General TV & Media' started by mulder42, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. mulder42

    mulder42 Corpse

    Jul 8, 2011
    Likes Received:
    The 2013 list is here.

    Big Bang's big bucks, Netflix's moneymakers and morning-show multimillionaires. Our annual salary report.

    By Stephen Battaglio and Michael Schneider, TV GUIDE MAGAZINE

    The new deals for The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, and Kaley Cuoco, which pay each $1 million per episode, make them the top-earning actors in TV Guide Magazine's annual survey of stars' salaries. But will the trio be the last to reach that seven-figure milestone?

    We put the question to many of the network and studio executives and talent agents we query every year to gather the data. All are trying to make sense of how the slicing and dicing of the mass audience — now more fragmented than ever by the rise of online streaming, DVR playback, and video on demand — is changing their business. Series with just a quarter of the 20 million viewers Big Bang averaged last season are being heralded as hits and getting renewed. One network entertainment chief, asked to explain why the show was so much bigger than any other sitcom, says Big Bang, now going into its eighth season, is from "the pre-DVR era," when shows had less competition.

    Yet no one says it is impossible for another Big Bang-size hit, one that commands seven-figure paydays for its leads, to come along. "We have to believe that we can do it again," says one TV comedy executive.

    But for the actors to cash in, a number of factors would have to fall into place as perfectly as they did for Big Bang. "It has to be a huge, broad, wildly profitable show that is showing no signs of slowing down," says another studio executive, who notes that reaching eight seasons is rare in itself. "It also has to have a small, core cast that has been there from the beginning. The show can't have 11 series regulars, like Modern Family." Nor, the executive notes, can it be a series with a lot of "cast churn." Killing off major characters — a common practice, thanks to Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead — has become an effective way to keep salaries in line on shows with large ensemble casts.

    But the rules of the game are rapidly changing, which leads another veteran executive to suggest a streaming TV service such as Netflix could be the next company to sign a $1 million paycheck for the star of one of its original series. Netflix is nearly halfway there with what it pays House of Cards star Kevin Spacey, according to the estimates of industry insiders.

    The proliferation of digital scripted shows — thanks to the ramp-up of original TV production by companies like Yahoo, Hulu, and Amazon — is increasing the demand for actors. That could eventually lift their pay after years of studios and networks holding the line on talent costs. (The top starting salary for a network show is $125,000 per episode. The highest figure for cable-show leads is typically $75,000.) "[Amazon] pays really well," says Amy Landecker, costar of the online giant's new comedy Transparent. "You'd be amazed."

    Also amazing: American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez will pull in $17.5 million in the show's next cycle, despite the singing competition's staggering ratings drop last season. She'll also work fewer hours. Sometimes the rich just get richer.

    COMEDY (per episode) [*plus profit participation **includes producer fee]
    Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory $1,000,000*
    Kaley Cuoco, The Big Bang Theory $1,000,000*
    Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory $1,000,000*
    Ashton Kutcher, Two and a Half Men, $750,000
    Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men $650,000
    Nancy Cartwright, The Simpsons $300,000
    Dan Castellaneta, The Simpsons $300,000
    Julie Kavner, The Simpsons $300,000
    Yeardley Smith, The Simpsons $300,000
    Tim Allen, Last Man Standing $250,000
    Patricia Heaton, The Middle $250,000
    Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation $250,000**
    Julie Bowen, Modern Family $190,000
    Ty Burrell, Modern Family $190,000
    Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family $190,000
    Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family $190,000
    Sofia Vergara, Modern Family $190,000
    Kate Walsh, Bad Judge $175,000**
    Don Cheadle, House of Lies $150,000
    Lena Dunham, Girls $150,000**
    Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie $150,000
    Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep $150,000
    Mindy Kaling, The Mindy Project $140,000**
    Zooey Deschanel, New Girl $130,000
    Will Arnett, The Millers $125,000
    Andy Samberg, Brooklyn Nine-Nine $125,000**
    Anthony Anderson, Black-ish $100,000
    Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine $100,000
    Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory $75,000
    Melissa Rauch, The Big Bang Theory $75,000
    Sarah Hyland, Modern Family $75,000
    Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent $75,000
    Margo Martindale, The Millers $60,000
    Jack McGee, The McCarthys $60,000
    Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish $50,000
    Ben Feldman, A to Z $40,000
    Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin $40,000
    Taylor Schilling, Orange Is the New Black $35,000
    Steve Byrne, Sullivan & Son $30,000
    Susan Lucci, Devious Maids $30,000

    The Big Bang Theory's three leads—Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, and Jim Parsons—will be in some rarefied financial company this fall. They join the following stars, who have hit the $1-million-per-episode mark.

    1997 Jerry Seinfeld, Seinfeld
    1998 Tim Allen, Home Improvement
    1998 Paul Reiser & Helen Hunt, Mad About You
    2002 The cast of Friends (Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc)
    2002 Kelsey Grammer, Frasier
    2004 Ray Romano, Everybody Loves Raymond
    2007 James Gandolfini, The Sopranos
    2010 Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men

    DRAMA (per episode) [*plus profit participation **includes producer fee]
    Mark Harmon, NCIS $525,000*
    Kevin Spacey, House of Cards $500,000**
    Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit $400,000
    Simon Baker, The Mentalist $350,000
    Patrick Dempsey, Grey's Anatomy $350,000
    Ellen Pompeo, Grey's Anatomy $350,000
    Jon Hamm, Mad Men $275,000
    David Boreanaz, Bones $250,000
    Emily Deschanel, Bones $250,000
    Claire Danes, Homeland $250,000
    Ted Danson, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation $250,000
    Michael Weatherly, NCIS $250,000
    Angie Harmon, Rizzoli & Isles $185,000
    Jensen Ackles, Supernatural $175,000
    Shemar Moore, Criminal Minds $175,000
    Katherine Heigl, State of Affairs $150,000**
    Kerry Washington, Scandal $150,000
    Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones $150,000
    Tom Selleck, Blue Bloods $150,000
    Téa Leoni, Madam Secretary $125,000
    Debra Messing, The Mysteries of Laura $125,000
    Mandy Patinkin, Homeland $125,000
    Scott Bakula, NCIS: New Orleans $120,000
    Eric Dane, The Last Ship $100,000
    Michael Sheen, Masters of Sex $100,000
    Lizzy Caplan, Masters of Sex $100,000
    Halle Berry, Extant $100,000
    Jesse L. Martin, Gotham $100,000
    Jada Pinkett Smith, Gotham $100,000
    Jonny Lee Miller, Elementary $100,000
    Anna Gunn, Gracepoint $75,000
    Octavia Spencer, Red Band Society $75,000
    Justin Theroux, The Leftovers $75,000
    Katee Sackhoff Longmire $60,000 (FYI: A&E just cancelled it! :()
    John Benjamin Hickey, Manhattan $50,000
    CCH Pounder, NCIS: New Orleans $50,000
    Shane West, Salem $50,000
    Lucy Hale, Pretty Little Liars $42,000
    Katharine McPhee, Scorpion $40,000

    DAYTIME/SYNDICATION (per year) [*includes profit participation]
    Judy Sheindlin, Judge Judy $47 million
    Ellen DeGeneres, The Ellen DeGeneres Show $16-20 million*
    Kelly Ripa, Live With Kelly and Michael $14-20 million*
    Pat Sajak, Wheel of Fortune $12 million
    Alex Trebek, Jeopardy! $9-10 million
    Vanna White, Wheel of Fortune $8 million
    Whoopi Goldberg, The View $5 million
    Rosie O'Donnell, The View $5 million
    Meredith Vieira, The Meredith Vieira Show $5 million
    Clinton Kelly, The Chew $10,000 per week

    NEWS (per year)
    Matt Lauer, Today $22-25 million
    Bill O'Reilly, The O'Reilly Factor $18 million
    Robin Roberts, Good Morning America $14 million
    Brian Williams, NBC Nightly News $13 million
    Anderson Cooper, Anderson Cooper 360 $11 million
    Shepard Smith, Shepard Smith Reporting $10 million
    George Stephanopoulos, Good Morning America & This Week $9 million
    Rachel Maddow, The Rachel Maddow Show $7 million
    Scott Pelley, CBS Evening News & 60 Minutes $7 million
    Bret Baier, Special Report With Bret Baier $6 million
    Maria Bartiromo, FOX Business $6 million
    Katie Couric, Yahoo! News $6 million
    Megyn Kelly, The Kelly File $6 million
    David Muir, ABC World News Tonight & 20/20 $5 million
    David Gregory, Meet the Press $4 million
    Lawrence O'Donnell, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell $4 million
    Lara Spencer, Good Morning America $3.5 million
    Erin Burnett, OutFront $3 million
    Nancy Grace, Nancy Grace $3 million
    Steve Kroft, 60 Minutes $3 million
    Willie Geist, Today & Morning Joe $2.5 million
    Natalie Morales, Today $2.5 million
    Byron Pitts, ABC News $1.2 million
    Bill Weir, CNN $750,000
    Ronan Farrow, Ronan Farrow Daily $650,000

    LATE NIGHT (per year)
    Jon Stewart, Comedy Central $25-30 million
    David Letterman, CBS $20 million
    Conan O'Brien, TBS $12 million
    Jimmy Fallon, NBC $11 million
    Chelsea Handler, Netflix $10 million
    Jimmy Kimmel, ABC $10 million
    Andy Cohen, Bravo $2 million
    John Oliver, HBO $2 million
    Saturday Night Live player starting salary, NBC $4,500 per episode

    Les Moonves & Julie Chen Malibu, CA $29 million
    Jim Parsons Los Feliz, Los Angeles, CA $6.4 million
    Andy Samberg Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, CA $6.3 million
    Kaley Cuoco Tarzana, CA $5.5 million
    David Gregory Washington, DC $5.5 million
    Jesse Tyler Ferguson Los Feliz, Los Angeles, CA $4.5 million

    Ellen DeGeneres Westside, Los Angeles, CA $55 million
    Ashton Kutcher Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, CA $10 million
    Neil Patrick Harris Sherman Oaks, CA $3 million
    Jason Priestley Toluca Lake, Los Angeles, CA $2 million

    Laurie Metcalf
    The McCarthys, $90,000 per episode
    Getting On, $50,000 per episode

    Michael Strahan
    Live With Kelly and Michael, $6 million per year
    FOX Sports, $4 million per year

    Heidi Klum
    America's Got Talent, $70,000 per hour
    Project Runway, $70,000 per episode

    Jennifer Lopez, American Idol $17.5 million per season
    Ryan Seacrest, American Idol $15 million per season
    Howard Stern, America's Got Talent $15 million per season
    Kardashian family, Keeping Up With the Kardashians $10 million per season
    Jeff Probst, Survivor $4 million per season
    NeNe Leakes, The Real Housewives of Atlanta $1 million per year
    Robertson family, Duck Dynasty $250,000 per episode
    Harrison family, Pawn Stars $125,000 per episode
    Lisa Vanderpump, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills $500,000 per year
    Chris Harrison, The Bachelor & The Bachelorette $50,000 per hour
    Richard Rawlings, Fast N' Loud $50,000 per episode
    Bruno Tonioli, Dancing With the Stars $30,000 per hour
    Kevin O'Leary, Shark Tank $30,000 per episode
    Saga crew, Deadliest Catch $25,000 per episode
    Eddie Cibrian, LeeAnn & Eddie $20,000 per episode
    Mimi Faust, Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta $20,000 per episode
    Nicole Richie, Candidly Nicole $20,000 per episode
    Elena Gant, Little Women: L.A. $2,000 per episode

Share This Page