Successful television hosts have turned their time on the small screen into veritable fortunes. When Judy Sheindlin — aka Judge Judy — retired in March after 25 seasons on the air, she was making a whopping $47 million a year, Forbes reported. She’ll likely net a similar amount for her new show on IMDb TV, “Judy Justice.” And she’s not the only TV host who’s incredibly rich.
Last updated: Nov. 1, 2021
- Net worth: $370 million, according to Forbes
Ellen DeGeneres first made it big when her sitcom “Ellen” debuted in 1994. Her star rose even higher when she got her own talk show in 2003. DeGeneres now gets an eight-figure paycheck from hosting her show, and rakes in more cash as a producer and through licensing fees, Forbes reported.
- Net worth: $60 million
Jimmy Fallon got his start on “Saturday Night Live” and then landed his own late-night talk show, “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” His earnings got a boost when he took over “The Tonight Show” for Jay Leno in 2014, Forbes reported.
Take a Look: 20 Hobbies of the Rich Only They Can Afford
- Net worth: $200 million
Steve Harvey’s namesake talk show was canceled in 2019, but he still makes big bucks from hosting “Family Feud” and “Celebrity Family Feud” — two of television’s most highly rated game shows, according to Forbes. In 2019, Harvey made $45 million between his game show gigs and his nationally syndicated radio show.
Did You Know? These Celebrities Lost Big After Huge Scandals
- Net worth: $50 million
As the host of “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Kimmel brings in an annual salary of $15 million, Variety reported.
- Net worth: $450 million
Jay Leno hosted “The Tonight Show” from 1992 to 2014. Although Leno reportedly earned $30 million a year to host the show at the height of his career, he banked all of his talk show earnings for retirement and lived off the earnings from his comedy show tours, CNBC reported.
Read More: Rich People Who Still Have Frugal Habits
- Net worth: $400 million
After 33 years as a late-night talk show host, David Letterman retired in 2015. Letterman was the longest-running late-night host of all time, surpassing Johnny Carson’s 30-year run, Forbes reported. Letterman came out of retirement just two years later, signing a deal with Netflix for a new talk show that would pay him $2 million an episode, Yahoo Finance reported.
Dr. Phil McGraw
- Net worth: $460 million
As the host of one of the most-watched syndicated talk shows on television, Dr. Phil McGraw landed on Forbes Celebrity 100 list in 2020 with earnings of $65.5 million. McGraw owns all of his content and pays CBS to distribute it, Forbes reported. He also earns a percentage of advertising revenue and income from product placement on the show. In addition, McGraw adds to his wealth as the executive producer of “The Bull” and “The Doctors.”
Check Out: Celebrities Who Are Richer Than You Think
- Net worth: $450 million
Ryan Seacrest somehow manages to juggle hosting duties for two ultra-popular television shows: “Live!” and “American Idol.” Seacrest earns over $10 million for each job, Forbes reported. In addition, Seacrest has brought in millions from executive producing shows like “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” He also has a line of menswear with Macy’s and a skincare line.
- Net worth: $445 million, according to Forbes
Judy Sheindlin’s daytime courtroom show has made her one of America’s richest self-made women. In addition to the seven-figure salary she earned in the later years of her 25-year run on TV, Sheindlin brought in an estimated $100 million when she sold the rights to her extensive library of “Judge Judy” episodes in 2017, Forbes reported. Sheindlin is also a producer of the show “Hot Bench” and stars in the new IMDb TV show “Judy Justice.”
- Net worth: $2.6 billion, according to Forbes
Oprah Winfrey’s eponymous talk show ran for 25 years, and the media mogul was able to reinvest her profits from the show to build a $2 billion empire, Forbes reported. Winfrey now has her own talk-show network, OWN, which she has a 25.5% stake in, and she’s a brand ambassador and stakeholder in Weight Watchers. She also signed a multiyear deal with Apple to create content for its streaming network.
More From GOBankingRates
- 5 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About Social Security
- 10 Reasons You Should Claim Social Security Early
- How To Use a Credit Card Like a Pro This Holiday Season
- Should You Refinance Now With the Low Mortgage Rates?
All net worths are sourced from Celebrity Net Worth unless otherwise indicated. Net worth information is accurate as of Dec. 14, 2020.