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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Who are TV’s highest paid stars?

It’s probably no surprise that Oprah Winfrey is the highest paid individual on television.

But what is surprising is that Scrubs’ star Zach Braff earns $6.3 million a year. (Somehow, that makes me feel a little better about his Emmy snub.)

According to TV Guide’s July 23 issue that lists TV’s highest paid stars, Oprah earns $260 million per year. It’s no wonder she has so many “favorite things,” when she’s pulling down that kind of cash.

Simon Cowell
and Judge Judy are also doing pretty well, with $45 million and $30 million respectively. It’s hard to believe that they earn that kind of dough for what they do, but there it is. Who said the world was fair?

Strangely missing from the list are Jay Leno, David Letterman and Jon Stewart. I’m not sure why they aren't listed, but I assume they are also among TV’s highest paid stars.

Here’s the complete list of bank breakers, broken down by categories:

NETWORK PRIME TIME (all salaries are per episode)
William Petersen ("CSI"): $500,000
Charlie Sheen ("Two and a Half Men"): $350,000
Mariska Hargitay ("Law & Order: SVU"): $350,000
Chris Meloni ("Law & Order: SVU"): $350,000
Hugh Laurie ("House"): $300,000
Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("New Adventures of Old Christine"):$225,000
Ellen Pompeo ("Grey's Anatomy"): $200,000
Eva Longoria ("Desperate Housewives"): $200,000

DAYTIME (all salaries are per year)
Judge Judy: $30 million
Bob Barker: $10 million
Maury Povich (per year plus profits): $7 million
Ellen DeGeneres: $5 million
Jerry Springer: $3 million - 4 million
Tyra Banks: $3.5 million

NEWS ANCHORS (all salaries are per year)
Katie Couric ("CBS Evening News" anchor): $15 million
Matt Lauer (NBC "Today" co-anchor): $12 million
Meredith Vieira (NBC "Today" co-anchor): $10 million


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