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Who are Television's Highest-Paid Stars?

Who are Television's Highest-Paid Stars?

It probably won't surprise anyone to learn that Oprah is television's highest-paid star. But would you have thought Zach Braff would crack the top tier?

This week's issue of TV Guide revealed the highest-paid stars on TV. Nobody even came close to Oprah, who rakes in a whopping $260 million a year from her own show as well as appearances on "Rachael Ray," "Dr. Phil" and other programs. That towering sum makes Simon Cowell's $45 million look paltry — and Judge Judy must feel downright poor with just $30 million a year.

TV Guide says Braff will bring in $6.3 million this year for 18 episodes of "Scrubs" — which, by my math, means he makes $350,000 per episode. That's not the highest among primetime stars, but it's up there. Who makes the most? William Petersen, aka Grissom on "CSI," who commands $500,000 a week. The full list is in this week's TV Guide, but to see a handful of the salaries for network and cable stars,

Network Prime Time (per episode)
William Petersen ("CSI"): $500,000
Charlie Sheen ("Two and a Half Men"): $350,000
Mariska Hargitay ("Law & Order: SVU"): $350,000
Chris Meloni ("Law & Order: SVU"): $350,000
Hugh Laurie ("House"): $300,000
Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("New Adventures of Old Christine"): $225,000
Ellen Pompeo ("Grey’s Anatomy"): $200,000
Eva Longoria ("Desperate Housewives"): $200,000
Jeff Foxworthy ("Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader"): $150,000
T.R. Knight ("Grey’s Anatomy"): $125,000
Chandra Wilson ("Grey’s Anatomy"): $125,000
Sally Field ("Brothers & Sisters"): $100,000

Cable (per episode)
Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer"): $250,000
Julian McMahon ("Nip/Tuck"): $125,000
Dylan Walsh ("Nip/Tuck"): $125,000
Joely Richardson ("Nip/Tuck"): $90,000
James Roday ("Psych"): $60,000


Join The Conversation
imdamoos imdamoos 8 years
Psych is probably one of the most creatively funny (not stupid-funny) shows I've ever seen. And it's a murder mystery show, so it's a win-win!
sherbear5 sherbear5 9 years
i've never even heard of psych
blu_butterfly blu_butterfly 9 years
wow!! they are so lucky coz they can earn that much money in a short time..
CestLaVie CestLaVie 9 years
I don't even know who William Peterson is- ha!
CelebrateLD CelebrateLD 9 years
Humpf! James Roday ("Psych"): $60,000 definitely needs to ask for a substantial raise! He's being robbed, ROBBED I tell ya! :D
sway- sway- 9 years
Ugh, Zach Braff is so overrated and just plain sleazy in my opinion. He thinks so highly of himself and i don't even think he's that talented.
greysgirl14 greysgirl14 9 years
Thats so crazy they get that much for ONE episode! They make more and a week then i will probably make my hole LIFE!
Green Green 9 years
interesting that Chandra and TR make so much less...what about the rest of the Grey's crew? Hmm... still great money.
kastarte2 kastarte2 9 years
I think it would be interesting to know how much the premium channel actors are making like Mary Louise Parker and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. How much was SJP making the last season of sex in the city?
dmblauren dmblauren 9 years
the dude from psych makes more per episode than my husband & i do per year. nice to see my $35k per year college tuition is paying off. how much does patrick dempsey make?
Christylicious Christylicious 9 years
Correct me if I am wrong, but weren't the Friends cast getting 1 million each per episode the last season? These numbers sound so low compared to them. But still crazy thinking they make that much money. No fair. :(
misslarue misslarue 9 years
whoops-put comment on wrong post-sorry!
misslarue misslarue 9 years
my name is earl and the office are my fave comedies on tv!
shafiii shafiii 9 years
yeah i find it weird Eva is paid more than the other houswives and isnt like Terri supposed to be the "leading role"? wouldnt she get more money?
Isis_ Isis_ 9 years
Judge Judy makes 30 mil a year, wow!!
watdafoxx watdafoxx 9 years
hahah.. that was supposed to say i love hugh too! did u try to use a heart laurarose? that's what cut my comment above ;p lol
watdafoxx watdafoxx 9 years
yaaayy!! hugh laurie!! i <3 him :)
Whoaaa-Stephanie Whoaaa-Stephanie 9 years
i don't understand why eva longoria is paid more than the rest of the housewives?
Pink_Lipstick Pink_Lipstick 9 years
I can't imagine getting paid that much! I mean, in a season of Grey's Anatomy, there's about 25 episodes. Jeez, that's a lot of money!
pinkgirl22 pinkgirl22 9 years
Of course she is the highest paid star on T.V she's Oprah.
SoftRockStar SoftRockStar 9 years
Sarah Michelle Gellar was making $750,000 an episode for the last two seasons of Buffy, so these salaries, for such widely watched shows, are a bit on the low side. I still remember the outrage that broke out when it was found that Keri Russell was only making $20,000/episode when Felicity first began. I wish I made that much money for a few months worth of work!
angeldevilwings angeldevilwings 9 years
CSI did start out the other related shows so it's justified to give him the big bucks. I would've thought that Patrick Dempsey would make the list as well because of the other GA cast on the list.
Chica8a Chica8a 9 years
I agree with LaLaLaurie06 !!
ALSW ALSW 9 years
Some of these names are more worth it than others (Peterson, Laurie, Hargitay all deserving), but it's still a ridiculous amount of money!
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