Television Star SALARIES; How much do they make?

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Television star salaries were recently listed by TV Guide letting us know what those Hollywood earnings really are. So how much do stars make for their TV shows? More than someone like you and I do on a 9-5, that is for sure. But are they bigger than big blockbuster movie actor salaries?

Take a look at the top paid actors and actresses of TV series, including large contracts and big episode payouts:

1) Jennifer Lopez

Lopez netted a 12 million dollar deal to be one of the new co-hosts for American Idol. I am not looking forward to her. I think she be as flaky as Paula without the lovable factor. Puke.

P.S. Ryan Seacrest has a deal for 15 million for his continued service.

2) Charlie Sheen

Charlotte Sheen rocks the TV Salary mark and with over 14.4 million viewers, he is up from $825K an episode to $1.8 million. That’s a nice pay raise. I think I could get out of bed for that in the morning. His co-star Jon Cryer makes $550K an episode.

That has to be annoying.

3) Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie is also known as “Dr. House” and nets a cool $400K per episode. And with as many episodes as I see on re-runs, that ain’t too shabby.

4) Oprah Winfrey

Not too much of a shocker, Oprah brings in 325 million dollars a YEAR. That could feed a small (or large….probably large) country.

I mean does anything after like $100million even make a difference? Does that mean you can buy an island instead of a jet to take you to an island?

5) Judge Judy

Judge Judy was one of my favorite shows back in college. She had a soft heart somewhere under the cynicism. Maybe its because she has an annual salary of 45 Million.

6) David Letterman

David Letterman is talk show King, although I do not watch him, beating out all the other late night hosts, for a respectable TV salary of 28 million.


Other TV salaries to make you sick:

  • Law And Order Stars Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay both take $395K an episode
  • Dancing with the Stars celebrities $200K per episode plus bonus
  • Katie Couric has a 15 million dollar contract
  • Mark Harmon of NCIS takes home $325K per episode
  • Patrick Dempsey, Grey’s Anatomy $225,000
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Old Christine $225,000
  • Eva Longoria, Desperate Housewives $200,000
  • Ellen Pompeo, Grey’s Anatomy $200,000
  • Jeff Foxworthy, Are You Smarter… $150,000
  • T.R. Knight, Grey’s Anatomy $125,000
  • Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy $125,000
  • Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters $100,000

Check out the TV Guide Report on Star Salaries for more estimates. Also, want to know what the child star salaries are?

My Christmas seems puny now.


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  1. Michael says

    very nice, lady. Disability! You are a useless boil on the ass of society and all you want is MORE!

  2. ol gendel says

    It is wrong. Yes, they really bring a lot of commercials. But who pays for these commercials. We do. Commercials represent about one third of the production expenses. So, we pay for their salaries in form of higher prices for everything, first of all medicine, pharmacetical companies give the most of commercials. This is wrong economy.

  3. Melissa says

    90,000 per episode take home pay… there are families of 4 who are lucky to make that in a YEAR. So I’d still call that a relatively lucky guy.

  4. says

    The one that disgusts me the most is Charlie Sheen… he is such a HORRIBLE person.
    There are SO many more people in the world that deserve more pay than they get (soldiers, teachers) and then these people (along with sports figures) get ridiculous amounts of money and then throw their lives away!

  5. Roseann says

    HMMM! Ya know, if the people like oprah etc, the ppl that make over 1 million (or more) could give 100,000 to the poor, homeless,and oh yeah, the disabled people or ppl on social security that didnt get the measly $250 or any money for COLA, because they say there is no cost of living increase, I think that they for one wouldnt miss it, two write it off in taxes,and the govt. wouldnt lose any money, but that just my .02 worth.imo.,

    • says

      As someone on disability & who’s hubby is on SS, I agree with you 100%!!
      I don’t know where the gov’t gets off saying inflation didn’t go up enough to warrant us getting a COLA raise or even the $250. Sheesh!!

  6. Angelina says

    The government takes 50%, the agent takes 10%, security takes 10%, business overhead 10%, publicist 2%. That leaves the actor with an 18% net gain. For Jon Cryer, 18% of $500,000 is $90,000 per episode take home pay.