Judge Judy Is TV’s Top Earner And It’s Not Even Close

judge judy


For two decades now Judy Sheindlin has been laying down the law on daytime television, and it appears Judge Judy is just as ferocious when negotiating her salary with CBS as she is on the bench. The queen of (fake) court television programs has agreed to a deal that will keep her on CBS through the 2019-2020 season, and her salary is simply astounding.

According to a Variety report released today, Judge Judy is by a wide margin TV’s highest paid personality, with a salary of $47 million. Comparatively, Matt Lauer is the second highest in the Reality/Host/News list with a salary of just a meager $22-25 million.

When it comes to scripted TV, The Big Bang Theory stars top the list, with Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki each hauling in $1 million per episode. Talk about revenge of the nerds.

Here are the top earners in each category: Drama, Comedy and Reality/Host/News. For the full lists check out Variety.

(h/t BroBible)



COMEDY (Per Episode)

  1. Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco & Johnny Galecki — The Big Bang Theory (CBS) — $1 million
  2. Dwayne Johnson — Ballers (HBO) — $400,000
  3. Drew Barrymore — Santa Clarita Diet (Netflix)/ Emma Stone & Jonah Hill – Maniac (Netflix)- $350,000
  4. Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner & Yeardley Smith- The Simpsons (Fox)- $315,000

DRAMA (Per Episode)

  1. Lauren Graham & Alexis Biedel— Gilmore Girls (Netflix) — $750,000 
  2. Mark Harmon — NCIS (CBS) — $525,000
  3. Kevin Spacey — House of Cards (Netflix)Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Kit Harington, Emelia Clarke & Nikolaj Coster—Waldau-  Game of Thrones (HBO)— $500,000


  1.  Judy Sheindlin- Judge Judy (Syndicated) — $47 million
  2. Matt Lauer — The Today Show (NBC) — $22-$25 million
  3. Ellen DeGeneres — Ellen (Syndicated) — $20 million
  4. Bill O’Reilly — The O’Reilly Factor (Fox News) — $18-$20 million
  5. Kelly Ripa — Live With Kelly (Syndicated— $16-$20 million
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