Celebrity Salaries


Don’t you always wonder what those celebrities make on TV?    Years ago ago I’d read that Vanna White was pulling in about 100k per show for “Wheel of Fortune” (it may be more now), and Pat Sayjak 250,000  (these may be higher now).  This seemed especially remarkable given that Wheel rarely gives away even a tenth of those combined salaries in prize money, and I think *never* has given away as much as the two “stars” earn.    Although I’m not for putting salary caps on stars I think these numbers certainly reflect bizarrely on what we value here in the good old USA.

These are from July 2007 – could not find newer numbers but I’m guessing these are current ballpark as well:

The morale of this story?   Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be Production Assistants ….

NETWORK PRIME TIME (salary per episode)

William Petersen, CSI $500,000   Update:  600,000
Update: Keifer Sutherland makes about 500,000 now for “24”
Zach Braff, Scrubs $350,000

Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU $350,000
Chris Meloni, Law & Order: SVU $350,000
Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men $350,000
Hugh Laurie, House $300,000  Update: Hugh Laurie’s Salary is rising to $400,000 per episode next season.
Patrick Dempsey, Grey’s Anatomy $225,000
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Old Christine $225,000
Eva Longoria, Desperate Housewives $200,000
Ellen Pompeo, Grey’s Anatomy $200,000
Jeff Foxworthy, Are You Smarter… $150,000
T.R. Knight, Grey’s Anatomy $125,000
Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy $125,000
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters $100,000
Special guest stars per hour episode minimum $6,527
Stand-ins per day minimum $145
Background actors w/ special abilities per day $140
Background actors or “extras” per day $130

NEWS ANCHORS (salary per year)
Katie Couric, CBS Evening News $15 million
Matt Lauer, NBC Today coanchor $12 million
Diane Sawyer                                                              $12 million
Meredith Vieira, NBC Today coanchor $10 million
Brian Williams                                                               $8 million
Anderson Cooper                                                         $5 million
Keith Olbermann, MSNBC anchor $4 million
Harry Smith, CBS The Early Show coanchor $3 million
Ernie Anastos, New York City local news anchor $2 million
Lesley Stahl, CBS 60 Minutes correspondent $1.8 million
Sr producer for network newsmagazine $250,000-$400,000
Average local TV news anchor                                        $75,500
Broadcast news associate entry level $30,000

CABLE (salary per episode)
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer $250,000
Julian McMahon, Nip/Tuck $125,000
Dylan Walsh, Nip/Tuck $125,000
Joely Richardson, Nip/Tuck $90,000
James Roday, Psych $60,000

DAYTIME
Oprah Winfrey, per year $260 million*
Judge Judy, per year $30 million
Bob Barker, per year $7 million
Ellen DeGeneres, per year $5 million
Jerry Springer, per year $3-4 million
Tyra Banks, per year $3.5 million
Star performer, daytime drama, per episode $7,500-$9,000
Writer, daily children’s show, per week $5,631
Freelance director, daytime drama, per program $3,726
Writer, daytime drama, per script $3,087
Question writer, quiz show, per week $1,324

* Includes earnings from Rachael RayDr. Phil other TV shows in her empire.

BEHIND THE SCENES
Director, per hr episode min. $35,927
Writer, for story and script, per hr episode $30,823
Staff writer, per wk minimum $2,890
Executive story editor, per episode average $8,500
Crafts services (provides food to cast and crew), per hr $25.40
Film editor, per wk min. $2,575
Sound editor, per wk min. $1,887.94
Music editor, per wk min. $1,887.94
Head makeup artist, per wk $2,271
Head hairstylist, per wk $1,804
Costume designer, per wk min. $2,009.65
Scenic artist, per wk min. $1,840
Microphone boom operator, per day $309.78
Production assistant, per hr $8

Source:  TV Guide