Highest-Paid Television Performers in 2018
Source: The Inquisitr
When it comes to making money, some of the stars of the small screen command huge paydays. Every year they are evaluated and ranked by Forbes Magazine, and in 2018 the top earners have done incredibly well. Looking at this list could make you re-evaluate your career choices, and it also reveals a few interesting facts.
Firstly, apart from a few outliers, the 10 highest-paid performers are all part of ensemble casts, with many of their co-stars also on the list. This speaks to the power of the chemistry within a group on television series. If the spark between the characters on Friends was not there, for example, would we have endured Ross' annoying behaviour for 10 years?
Secondly, most of the actors and actresses we mention make a lot of their money with product endorsements . Growing their celebrity as a brand with value, independent of their shows, is a savvy business move that is very clearly paying off.
Also, the pay gap between men and women seems to be less pronounced in television than in movies. The discrepancies are still there; if you look at the 10 highest-paid actors and 10 highest-paid actresses in 2018 the cumulative earnings are $181 million versus $168.5 million respectively. But this is a lot better than in films, where the group salaries sit at $748.5 million and $186 million.
Female representation is better too. The 43% of recurring roles that women have in series
is still inaccurate, but it is much better than the 31.8% of speaking parts that they got in movies this year. All of this is important, but we know you're as curious as we were to know who the biggest earners in 2018 were. The honours have not changed that much since 2017 but they are a little different. So, without further ado, who made bank?
The Top 10 List
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- Sofia Vergara, Modern Family, $ 42.5 million
- Jim Parsons, Big Bang Theory, $26.5 million
- Johnny Galecki, Big Bang Theory, $25 million
- Kaley Cuoco, Big Bang Theory, $24.5 million
- (tie) Ellen Pompeo, Grey's Anatomy, $23.5 million
- (tie) Simon Helberg, Big Bang Theory, $23.5 million
- (tie) Kunal Nayyar, Big Bang Theory, $23.5 million
- Mark Harmon, NCIS, $19 million
- Ed O'Neill, Modern Family, $14 million
- Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family, $13.5 million
More Bucks for Your Bang
The cast of Big Bang Theory has made headlines in the not-so-distant past for being the highest-paid ensemble on the small screen. The bulk of what the Fab Four (plus Penny) earned in 2018 came from the $1 million they take home per episode, along with a cut of the profits from the show. Parsons makes considerably more thanks to his work in side projects such as Hidden Figures, and executive-producing the Young Sheldon series.
Modern Family Money Spinners
Those of us of a certain age will remember Ed O'Neill with great fondness as Al Bundy from the 90s sitcom Married with Children. His turn as Jay Pritchett in Modern Family has made just as much of an impression. He has also been in blockbusters such as Wreck it Ralph.
With all this popularity, it's no wonder he's managed to pocket a good few million in endorsement deals. Stonestreet is essential to Modern Family (who else could play Cam so well?), so his sizable paycheque is understandable. He's also starred in a few movies and has been hosting The Toy Box since 2017.
Of course, no one on this list can touch Vergara. She has understood the importance of growing her fan base independently since she was very young. To help pay the bills when acting gigs were sparse, she appeared in countless commercials and even her own calendar. This entrepreneurial spirit continues today, and this year she was part of campaigns for Quaker Oats a Rooms to the Go furniture line, and many other brands. As Luis Balaguer, her business partner and manager, says, Vergara herself is the product.
The Outliers: Pompeo and Harmon
Pompeo has said in the past that she can command her salary because she is the face of Grey's Anatomy and has committed to keeping that special by not being the face of anything else. Harmon has so far only endorsed Coors Light. The fact that they are doing so well while being relatively out of the spotlight (for TV actors, at least) is pretty impressive in itself.