World’s Highest Paid Actresses
TV is in its golden age, and people have a variety of content to choose from either from broadcast television, cable networks, or streaming services. As for actresses who bring the best in them on screen, does it translate into gold for them?
While Hollywood has a lot of work to do in terms of the gender wage gap, the problems of TV industry are not as critical as those of the film industry. It is due, in part, to the ensemble casts who generally negotiate their salaries together. Vergara, for example, has the same Modern Family paycheck as Ty Burrell and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Cuoco makes the same amount from Bing Bang Theory as Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki.
More than any TV actor made, the Colombian actress Sofia Vergara tops the list of the world’s highest-paid TV actresses for the fifth year in a row, bringing in $43 million before management fees and taxes. However, it is not her role as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett that is responsible for her earning 66% earnings bump. It is endorsement and licensing deals for products including a line of Rooms To Go furniture, shampoo Head and Shoulders adds, coffee maker, and even cheetah-printed nurse scrubs that have proven to be the most fruitful.
That is not the case for runner-up Kaley Cuoco who notched $24.5 million almost all from her role as Penny on Bing Bang Theory. She commands the best and biggest TV deal in television by currently making $1 million per episode for the CBS gig.
Priyanka Chopra who stars on ABC’s Quantico is new to the list. While she may be relatively new to the American audience, Chopra is one of the most famous faces in India. She starred in two Bollywood mega films and will take her big-screen talent later this year with one of the lead roles in Baywatch alongside Dwayne Johnson. Like most actresses, her $11 million are not made from screen time alone. Chopra is one of India’s top picks for advertisers; she recently won a deal with sparkling juice brand Appy Fizz.
Stana Katic is also new to the list and is the lead of ABC’s mystery series Castle. Although the show has received little critical attention, it garners consistent ratings for the network. Katic returned for the past and final last minute season only after negotiating a lucrative deal that included a salary increase and a good share of the backend profit.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus may be a familiar name in TV, but is new to the list as well. The star has, since Seinfeld, become known as Selena with her role in VEEP. It is a lucrative show, especially considering that she serves as its executive producer. She also endorses lucrative deals with the clothing brand Old Navy, all of which bring her $7.5 million.
“For years and years, the role of the lead actress on a sitcom was to do two things: to look amazing and to make one-third of what my male co-star makes.” Said Mindy Kaling who ranks third on the list with earnings of $15 million for creating, starring, and producing the show The Mindy Project. “So I want to be clear. I do always look amazing on the show, and no man on my show makes more money that me.” Hopefully, more and more producers and directors will take her approach to television to continue to close the gap.