2014 Emmy Award Nominees Kevin Spacey and Claire Danes Make the Highest Salaries

The nominations for the 2014 Emmy Awards were released this morning, and the list of nominees includes some of televisions finest, most entertaining and wealthiest stars.

There are plenty of award ceremonies and critics to size up talent and artistic merit — but we’re interested in sizing up the bank accounts of Emmy Award nominees. Here’s the rundown of the highest-paid 2014 Emmy Award nominees in the major categories.

The Highest-Earning TV Shows Nominated for 2014 Emmy Awards

To figure out the TV shows with the biggest incomes, we looked at how much each show charged for advertising time during its 2013-2014 broadcast season for the two biggest categories, outstanding comedy series and outstanding drama series.

Outstanding Comedy Series: “Big Bang Theory”

Of the six shows nominated for outstanding comedy series, three don’t even earn ad revenue: “Orange Is the New Black” on Netflix, as well as “Veep” and “Silicon Valley” on HBO.

Of the remaining three, “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS), “Louie” (FX) and “Modern Family” (ABC), the clear frontrunner in ad revenue is “The Big Bang Theory.” CBS charges $326,260 for a 30-second advertising spot during the show, which is more than $10,000 per second, according to Adweek. “Modern Family” is right up there, however, charging $257,435 for 30 seconds.

Outstanding Drama Series: “Breaking Bad”

Again there are several TV shows in this category that don’t offer advertising slots, including “Game of Thrones” (HBO), “Downton Abbey” (PBS), “House of Cards” (Netflix) and “True Detective” (HBO).

The remaining two nominees, “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” have both been big hits for cable network AMC. Adweek reports that AMC asked around $340,000 for a 30-second spot during the “Breaking Bad” series finale, which aired in September 2013 — a television event that garnered 10.3 million viewers.

On the other hand, a spot during the “Mad Men” season finale cost a more modest $65,000 per 30 seconds. The clear winner here is “Breaking Bad.”

The Highest-Paid 2014 Emmy-Nominated Actors and Actresses

The list of 2014 Emmy Award nominees includes some of the highest-paid TV stars. Here are the lead actors and actresses who are commanding the biggest paychecks among the Emmy-nominated stars.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Jim Parsons of “The Big Bang Theory”

While there are some outstanding nominees among this list, it’s hard to stand up to the earning powerhouse of “The Big Bang Theory.” Being on such a popular show means Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon Cooper on the geek comedy, can command a big salary: $325,000 per episode this last season, according to Time magazine.

Other nominees for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series include Louis C.K. of “Louie,” Don Cheadle in “House of Lies,” Ricky Gervais in “Derek,” Matt LeBlanc in “Episodes” and William H. Macy in “Shameless.”

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Amy Poehler of “Parks and Recreation”

Amy Poehler of “Parks and Recreaction” (NBC) is the leader of this group of nominees, bringing in one of TV’s highest per-episode salaries of $200,000, according to TV Guide.

Other nominees in the category include Lena Dunham of “Girls,” Edie Falco of “Nurse Jackie,” Julia Louis-Dreyfus for “Veep,” Melissa McCarthy in “Mike and Molly” and Taylor Schilling in “Orange Is the New Black.”

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Kevin Spacey in “House of Cards”

The group of nominees for the 2014 Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a drama series are a high-earning bunch, but Kevin Spacey is leading the pack, with his “House of Cards” earnings reported by New York Post to be $5 million for season two. With a 13-episode season that aired on Netflix, that comes out to just under $385,000 per episode.

The runner-up was Jon Hamm of “Mad Men” with $275,000 per episode, as reported by Celebrity Net Worth. Other nominees include Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad,” Jeff Daniels of “The Newsroom,” and Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey of “True Detective.”

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Claire Danes in “Homeland”

Claire Danes actually doubled her per-episode salary to make $250,000 throughout the 2013-2014 season of “Homeland” on Showtime, earning her a spot in TV Guide’s list of highest-paid TV stars.

For her role in “House of Cards,” Emmy nominee Robin Wright might make close to her co-star Kevin Spacey’s $5 million for season two, though we couldn’t find specific salaries. If true, this would put her even or above Claire Danes’ per-episode salary.

Other nominees for the 2014 Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series are: Lizzy Caplan in “Masters of Sex,” Michelle Dockery in “Downton Abbey,” Julianna Marguiles of “The Good Wife” and Kerry Washington in “Scandal.”

Photo credit: Hans Splinter