Do you have any idea what your favorite TV stars earn? Although we keep up with the entertainment beat, we have to admit that TV Guide ‘s breakdown of small-screen salaries surprised us. The whole post is fascinating (and also kind of depressing for us common folks), but some entries were more WTF than others. After the jump, we explore 10 of the most unexpected and ill-advised salaries on television.
Judge Judy — $45 million/year Let’s put it this way: Judith Sheindlin is raking in more money than any talk-show host (yes, that’s the category she falls into) besides Oprah. For yelling at deadbeats, she out-earns Jay Leno and David Letterman. Her salary is more than five times what Ellen DeGeneres makes.
Dan Castellaneta and Julie Kavner, The Simpsons — $400,000/episode Are Kavner and Castellaneta incredibly talented voice actors? Of course they are. But 400 grand per episode just to record dialog for a show that passed its prime over a decade ago?
Tom Selleck, Blue Bloods — $125,000/episode This show hasn’t even aired yet, and somehow we just know hiring Tom Selleck at this salary to do a cop show will not end well.
Jon Hamm, Mad Men — $100,000/episode We’re not saying he doesn’t deserve it for playing one of the most complicated (not to mention hunky!) characters on TV. We’re just surprised that AMC can afford to pay him that much.
Kate Gosselin, Kate Plus 8 — $250,000/episode Just think: all that, just for living her chaotic life! Jeez, at this pay rate, we’re tempted to pop out several children and cultivate the world’s most grating personality, too.
Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men — $1.25 million/episode Only in America could an unreformed, drug-snarfing wife beater become the country’s highest paid TV star. What’s especially sad here is that his co-star, John Cryer, earns less than half what Sheen is making.
Angus T. Jones, Two and a Half Men — $250,000/episode He’s 16. Just sayin’.
Betty White, Hot in Cleveland — $75,000/episode Okay, so, we’d take it. But really — this is the best TV Land can do for pop culture’s lady of the hour?
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol — $15 million/year It’s far from the highest salary on TV. But we suggest that, instead of dishing out $15 mil for a guy who’s shaking a few hands, giving a few hugs, and asking, “So, how did that go?”, FOX look into building the world’s first Seacrest-bot.
Snooki, Jersey Shore — $30,000/episode She may make a mere eighth of what head reality-TV crazy bitch Kate Gosselin pulls in per episode, but let’s look at this another way: $30K was our starting salary for an entire year of our first job — which, sadly, did not involve poofy hairdos, excessive drunkenness, or making sauce.