TV's Highest-Paid Star? Judge Judy (by a Mile)

She brings home $47M per year: 'TV Guide'

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 22, 2013 3:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – The highest-paid TV star probably isn't who you'd expect: It's Judy Sheindlin, perhaps better known as Judge Judy, who earns an impressive $47 million a year, TV Guide reports. Sheindlin's massive salary is thanks in part to the fact that hers is the top-rated syndicated daytime show; it probably also helps that Oprah Winfrey, who often used to beat her in the rankings despite Sheindlin's better ratings, ended her iconic daytime talk show. Other top earners in various genres:

  • Late night: Jon Stewart earns between $25 million and $30 million per year, sources say.
  • Prime time: Ashton Kutcher wins the day with his $750,000-per-episode deal with Two and a Half Men. In the drama category, Mark Harmon is the top earner; he gets $525,000 per episode of NCIS, plus a portion of the show's profits.
  • Reality TV: Howard Stern makes $15 million a year from his gig as an America's Got Talent judge.
  • News: Matt Lauer wins, raking in $22 million to $25 million on the Today show.
Click for more top earners.

Judge Judy Sheindlin makes $47 million a year.   (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, file)
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