Judge Judy Sheindlin tops the list
The verdict has been handed down: Judge Judy Sheindlin is the highest-paid personality on television.
Sheindlin, who’s starred in Judge Judy for 21 seasons, earns an estimated $47 million per year, according to a Variety. In the reality/host/news category, that’s nearly twice as much as Today show host Matt Lauer (est. $22 million to $25 million).
The Big Bang Theory’s trio of actors rake in the most for scripted comedies. Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, and Johnny Galecki all earn approximately $1 million per episode of the hit CBS sitcom.
For drama, TV’s biggest show Game of Thrones does not hold the top spot. Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel of Netflix’s Gilmore Girls revival are tied at No. 1 with a $750,000 mark for their four-episode return. However, Thrones does boast five actors (Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) making approximately $500,000 per episode.
The rough estimates were determined by Variety consulting industry sources and reflect the most current season of each respective series, the publication said. See the top 5 in each category below and the full lists at Variety.
1. Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory, $1,000,000 per episode
2. Kaley Cuoco, The Big Bang Theory, $1,000,000 per episode
3. Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory, $1,000,000 per episode
4. Dwayne Johnson, Ballers, $400,000 per episode
5. Drew Barrymore, Santa Clarita Diet, $350,000 per episode
1. Lauren Graham, Gilmore Girls, $750,000 per episode
2. Alexis Bledel, Gilmore Girls, $750,000 per episode
3. Mark Harmon, NCIS, $525,000 per episode
4. Kevin Spacey, House of Cards, $500,000 per episode
5. Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones, $500,000 per episode
1. Judy Sheindlin, Judge Judy, $47 million per year
2. Matt Lauer, Today, $22-$25 million per year
3. Ellen DeGeneres, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, $20 million per year
4. Bill O’Reilly, The O’Reilly Factor, $18-$20 million per year
5. Kelly Ripa, Live With Kelly, $16-$20 million per year