Hollywood is a multi-billion-dollar industry that reaches the majority of the world in one way or another on a daily basis. As such, it’s understandable if you’re interested in the economics behind it. Though it makes us regular folk feel inadequate, there’s a palpable curiosity when it comes to the salaries of highly-visible celebrities. That’s especially true during the boom of the Peak TV era in which more than 500 scripted series have been beamed into our living rooms this year.
Apple TV+ made Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston among the highest-paid television stars with salaries that netted them more than $1 million per episode of The Morning Show. Judge Judy made $147 million last year; the cast of Stranger Things can’t legally buy alcohol, though they can certainly afford anything else; and the stars of Friends are still banking an estimated $20 million per year from the show.
As Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max and Peacock join a crowded streaming industry that already includes Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, attracting name brand stars who can cut through the clutter and attract audience attention costs a premium. So, who else is notching top-tier, per-episode salaries on the small screen?
All numbers are courtesy of Variety.
Harrison Ford—Annapurna’s The Staircase: $1.2M
Reese Witherspoon—Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere: $1.1 million
Kerry Washington—Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere: $1.1 million
Nicole Kidman—Hulu’s Nine Perfect Strangers: $1 million
Jeff Bridges—FX on Hulu’s The Old Man: $1 million
Norman Reedus—AMC’s The Walking Dead: $1 million
Steve Carell—Apple TV+’s The Morning Show: $750,000
Patrick Stewart—CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Picard: $750,000
Chris Evans—Apple TV+’s Defending Jacob: $750,000
Bryan Cranston—Showtime’s Your Honor: $700,000
Jason Momoa—Apple TV+’s See: $600,000
Steve Carell—Netflix’s Space Force: $1 million
Ty Burrell—ABC’s Modern Family: $500,000
Julie Bowen—ABC’s Modern Family: $500,000
Jesse Tyler Ferguson—ABC’s Modern Family: $500,000
Ed O’Neill—ABC’s Modern Family: $500,000
Sofia Vergara—ABC’s Modern Family: $500,000
Eric Stonestreet—ABC’s Modern Family: $500,000
Paul Rudd—Netflix’s Living With Yourself: $450,000
Anna Faris & Allison Janney—CBS’ Mom: $350,000