It will surprise no one that we’re watching more TV than ever in 2020. We’re watching prestige dramas, housewives arguing and courtroom TV. We’re watching game shows and cartoons and whatever’s happening on PBS in the middle of the afternoon.
Considering how much TV we watch, it should also be no surprise that the people who appear most frequently on our TV screens are making a lot of money for keeping us entertained during good times and…well…
How much are the biggest TV stars worth? Considering that Whoopi Goldberg, who’s got an Oscar somewhere in her house, has been on “The View” since 2007, it’s a lot. To celebrate Goldberg’s birthday — today! — we’ve put together a list of some of the highest-paid TV entertainers. We bet you had no idea how much they were worth!
Elisabeth Moss: $30 Million
Elisabeth Moss first became a pop culture sensation when she starred in “Mad Men.” Now, she’s taken her fame to a new level with “The Handmaid’s Tale.” HBO pays Moss $1 million per episode.
Howie Mandel: $60 Million
The comedian has been in TV for a long time. Aside from hosting “Deal Or No Deal” and serving as a judge on “America’s Got Talent,” Mandel also appeared on all 137 episodes of “St. Elsewhere” and created and produced “Bobby’s World,” a popular ’90s cartoon.
Whoopi Goldberg: $60 Million
It’s her birthday and she’ll cry all the way to the bank if she wants to! Whoopi Goldberg was a big star before she ever joined “The View” 13 years ago, but she’s even more of a household name now that she’s on TV screens almost every day of the week.
Ellen Pompeo: $80 Million
Dr. Meredith Grey will never leave Seattle Grace. That’s good news for Ellen Pompeo, who earns $550,000 an episode and makes millions per year from syndication profits.
Jim Parsons: $160 Million
At one point, “The Big Bang Theory” was not only one of the most popular shows on television, but also the longest-running multicamera sitcom. And its stars got paid handsomely — some (including Parsons) to the tune of $1 million per episode.
That — plus residuals — practically ensures that the cast never has to work again, but Parsons, whose “Big Bang” character got his own spin-off, has made the most money off his TV success!
Sofia Vergara: $180 Million
Between 2011 and 2020, Sofia Vergara was the highest-paid female actor on television — thanks both to her star turn on “Modern Family” and the many endorsement deals that the show brought her. She’s now a judge on “America’s Got Talent.”
Gordon Ramsay: $220 Million
The celebrated chef was a well-known restaurateur long before he was yelling at people in front of cameras, but his star quickly rose when he got into the TV business. It feels like no matter what else happens, there’s at least one new Ramsay show each season!
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Judge Judy: $440 Million
Judge Judith Sheindlin (did you know her full name?) has been on our TV screens for the past 25 years. Though her iconic courtroom show will end next year, you don’t need to worry about how she’ll make rent. Not only did Judge Judy make $47 million a year for her show, but CBS has repurchased her catalogue for $100 million and she’s got plans for a new show — “Judy Justice.”
Ryan Seacrest: $450 Million
Ryan Seacrest got big thanks to “American Idol,” and he hasn’t stopped since. He also co-hosts “Live with Kelly and Ryan” and has hosted “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” since 2005 (he was a co-host before he took over). He’s also an executive producer on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” which he calls his biggest contribution to the world. Thanks!
Dr. Phil: $460 Million
Talk show host Phil McGraw is one of the highest-paid people on television and he shows no signs of letting up. Of course, his books, syndication royalties and executive producing credits — ever heard of “The Doctors”? — also help.
Ellen DeGeneres: $500 Million
The comedian turned sitcom star turned one of television’s most popular daytime hosts makes a lot of money for what she does best: interviewing celebrities. Despite the controversies she’s faced lately with her show, the money continues to roll in. She also dances, a lot.
Simon Cowell: $600 Million
He may be best known for his snarkiness as a reality show judge, but Cowell was also a successful record producer before he made his way onto our screens. His stints as a judge on “Pop Idol,” “American Idol” and “X-Factor” just made him even more bankable.
Kylie Jenner: $700 Million
Touted as the first billionaire in the Kardashian-Jenner family, Jenner’s fortune has recently come into question. But what’s $300 million when you’ve got $700 million more? Though Jenner didn’t make all of her money from appearing on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” her makeup line’s success is absolutely tied to her appearances on her famous family’s show.
Kim Kardashian West: $900 Million
Is anyone else surprised to see Kim Kardashian West, the grande dame of reality TV, on this list? The star went from being “very rich but unknown” to “exceedingly rich and also a household name” after “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” blew up. Now she runs a multimillion-dollar empire forged in her image.
Jerry Seinfeld: $950 Million
Jerry Seinfeld made headlines for earning $1 million per episode on “Seinfeld.” He’s only gotten richer since the hit show ended. He recently got a $100 million payday from Netflix for two standup specials and development opportunities.
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All net worths were source from Celebrity Net Worth and are accurate as of Nov. 9, 2020.