With Forbes magazine calling her number 13 of its top 20 richest women in entertainment; good old “Judge Judy,” is in fact Judith Sheindlin, a 69-year-old billionaire, according to Forbes and someone that TV Guide says earns the most of all TV performers at a whopping “$45 per year.” In addition to Sheindlin being the highest paid TV star in America – for hosting her syndicated courtroom series Judge Judy – the Aug. 13-26 edition of TV Guide, released Aug. 7, states that Ryan Seacrest earns $15 million a year, Matt Lauer gets $21.5 million a year, Mark Harmon gets $500,000 an episode for NCIS and Mad Men’s John Hamm earns $250,000 per episode; while “Hell’s Kitchen” star Gordon Ramsay earns $225,000 per episode, and the list of millionaire TV stars goes on. In fact, TV Guide reports how the “networks are paying more on the reality side, where major names are being sought to create buzz and ratings.” For instance, TV Guide states that “Howard Stern picked up $15 million to join America’s Got Talent;” while this television source noted that Mariah Carey “will get around $17 million to join American Idol.”
TV stars getting big, big bucks
While Joe Six Pack American TV watcher is happy for a six pack of beer to wash down his or her frozen pizza while hoping their unemployment checks won’t stop. In turn, the television stars they like to watch "are way out there in millionaire land," said one TV critics; while noting how these stars could never relate to most of their TV viewing audience.
For instance, those fun late night TV show hosts who try and relate to the everyman in their nightly stand-up routines are secretly some of the richest people in the nation with TV Guide reporting that David Letterman gets $28 million per year, Jan Leno earns $25 million per year, Jon Stewart is not crying at $16 million per year, nor is Stephen Colbert at $6 million a year; while Jimmy Fallon is trying to make ends meet by doing TV commercials to supplement his $5 million per year paycheck.
In turn, TV Guide notes that “the actor who made $75,000 a couple of years ago is now being offered $50,000 or $60,000.”
At the same time, TV Guide reported how “the television industry can thank the feature-film business for creating the current buyers’ market. Movie studios are now driven by big-budget action thrillers that play well internationally, leaving little work for actors who made their living in genre movies, romantic comedies and family films.”
Thus, one network president told TV Guide that “theatrical talent is coming into television, and that’s pushing the price of television people down.”
Who Earns What on TV?
Some of the top earners on TV Guide’s recently released list of “Who Earns What,” include:
-- Mariska Hargitay of "Law & Order: SVU" - $385,000 per episode
-- Sandra Oh of "Grey’s Anatomy" - $350,000 per episode
-- Simon Baker as "The Mentalist" - $300,000 per episode
-- Michael C. Hall of "Dexter" - $295,000 per episode
-- Ted Danson on "CSI" - $225,000 per episode
-- Jeff Daniels of the "Newsroom" - $150,000 per episode
Also, those stars of TV’s daytime syndication talk shows also earn big bucks; with Joe Brown of “Judge Joe Brown” taking in $20 million per year; Kelly Ripa of “Live! With Kelly” earning $20 million per year; while Sherri Shepherd of “The View” gets $1.5 million per year; and Chef Mario Batali of “The Chew” only making $6,000 per episode.
At the same time, TV Guide looked at Britney Spears getting “$10 million per season” for her forthcoming appearance on “The X Factor;” while Christina Aguilera will earn $225,000 per episode for sitting in to judge “The Voice.”
Meanwhile, TV Guide says “The Kardashian Family” has to split a record $10 million per year for airing their dirty laundry on reality television.
Image source of the every so humble and super rich Judge Judy who stands next to a portrait of herself; while TV Guide reports Aug. 7 that she earns “45 million per year” for hosting her TV program. Photo courtesy Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Sheindlin