Which TV Stars Pull in the Most Dollars Per Episode?

Three stars from 'The Big Bang Theory' are seeking to top the list

  • Share
  • Read Later
Monty Brinton / CBS

Even in the world of television actors we find the “haves” and the “have nots.” A few cast members on The Big Bang Theory might land in the “haves” section in a very big way, with series stars Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco asking for as much as $1 million per episode. Each. Did we already mention that is per episode?

Yeah, those kinds of figures make even Ashton Kutcher feel dirty and impoverished.

As one of television’s hottest sitcoms renegotiates deals with their stars—ahead of its seventh season debut on CBS on Sept. 26—the top trio wants a sizable jump from the $325,000 per episode they already haul in. Their costars Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch just wrapped their negotiating, earning them up to $100,000 per episode by the end of their contracts.

And while a $100,000-per-episode deal sounds like a decent chunk of change (or paper currency), it’s a relatively modest sum. Take a look at kind of money being pulled in by TV’s highest paid actors.

Keep in mind this list doesn’t even the stars of daily shows, there ranks include: Judith Sheindlin, aka Judge Judy, (who pulls down $47 million annually), Jon Stewart (nearly $30 million), and Matt Lauer (close to $25 million).

And remember: these figures —compiled by splicing together a variety of TV Guide lists and other media reports)—are dollars earned per single episode.

Two and a Half Men

Monty Brinton / CBS

Walden (Ashton Kutcher, right) comforts Jake (Angus T. Jones, left) on ‘Two and a Half Men’

1.  Ashton Kutcher, Two and a Half Men, $750,000

2.  Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men, $600,000

3.  Mark Harmon, NCIS, $525,000

4.  Mariska Hargitay, Law and Order: SVU, $500,000

5.  Sandra Oh, Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey, Grey’s Anatomy, $350,000

6.  Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco, The Big Bang Theory, $325,000

7.  Simon Baker, The Mentalist, $300,000

7.  Angus T. Jones, Two and a Half Men, $300,000

9.  Claire Danes, Homeland, $250,000

9.  Michael Weatherly, NCIS, $250,000

9.  John Hamm, Mad Men, $250,000

12.  Tim Allen, Last Man standing, $225,000

12.  David Boreanaz, Bones, $225,000

12.  Ted Danson, CSI, $225,000

12.  Jason Segel, How I Met Your Mother, $225,000

16.  Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother, $210,000

17.  Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation, $200,000