When television’s biggest earners were revealed last year, the figures were, to put it mildly, jaw-dropping. Netflix reached into its deep pockets and paid David Letterman a staggering $12 million for just six episodes of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction; the main cast of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory were banking $900,000 per episode; and the stars of Game of Thrones took home a cool $500,000 per episode. Across the industry, salaries are skyrocketing, and that includes the paychecks being doled out to showrunners.
Now, even more top-notch, enviable salaries are coming to light this year courtesy of Variety. Here, a few of the standouts.
Drama (Per Episode Estimate)
- Javier Bardem—Untitled Amazon/Amblin TV Series: $1.2 million
- Reese Witherspoon—Untitled Apple Morning Show Drama: $1.1 million
- Jennifer Aniston—Untitled Apple Morning Show Drama: $1.1 million
- George Clooney—Hulu’s Catch-22: $1 million
- Norman Reedus—AMC’s The Walking Dead: $1 million
- Elisabeth Moss—Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale: $1 million
- Julia Roberts—Amazon’s Homecoming: $600,000
Comedy (Per Episode Estimate)
- John Goodman—ABC’s The Conners: $375,000
- Laurie Metcalf—ABC’s The Conners: $375,000
- Sara Gilbert—ABC’s The Conners: $375,000
- Tim Allen—Fox’s Last Man Standing: $250,000
- Candice Bergen—CBS’s Murphy Brown: $250,000
- Patricia Heaton—Untitled CBS Series: $250,000
Unscripted (Per Episode Estimate)
- Kelly Clarkson—NBC’s The Voice: $560,000
- Kevin Hart—CBS’ TKO: $500,000
- Dwayne Johnson—NBC’s Titan Games: $450,000 (on top of his $650,000 salary for HBO’s Ballers)
- James Corden—CBS’ World’s Best: $350,000
- Drew Barrymore—CBS’ World’s Best: $350,000
So kids, the moral of this story is to forget about becoming a doctor or a lawyer. Instead, just bag yourself a successful sitcom.