HBO’s Big Little Lies and Hulu’s Handmaid’s Tale may be winning awards, but when it comes to money, it’s all about good old-fashioned broadcast television. Just ask Sofia Vergara, the world’s highest-paid TV actress for the sixth year in a row.
Vergara banked $41.5 million before taxes and fees in the 12 months to June 1, some $15 million more than second-ranked Cuoco of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, who earned $26 million during the same period.
Her Emmy-nominated role as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett accounts for roughly a quarter of Vergara’s income, while more than half comes from licensing and endorsement deals with brands such as Head & Shoulders, Pepsi and CoverGirl. (The rest comes from a variety of sources, including movie roles, her talent management agency and speaking engagements.) She now focuses on licensing deals, rather than straightforward endorsements. In licensing deals, she can control the product and enjoy a stake in its sales, with three perfumes she produces in a partnership with Avon, a line of furniture at Rooms To Go and a coffee machine she helped design with SharkNinja.
“Our endorsement department is a well-oiled machine,” Luis Balaguer, Vergara’s manager and business partner for over 20 years, told Forbes. “Even now, our attention is on the people watching Modern Family and how to appeal to them outside of the show, too.”
Vergara’s business-first mentality has put her way ahead of her fellow stars when it comes to earnings. With per-episode earnings of $1 million, Kelly Cuoco’s Big Bang Theory income, for example, is more than two times Vergara’s Modern Family paycheck. But Cuoco (No 2; $26 million) doesn’t have nearly as many endorsements or licensing deals.
Combined, the world’s 10 highest-paid TV actresses made $156.5 million between June 1, 2016, and June 1, 2017. Earnings estimates are based on data from Nielsen, Box Office Mojo and IMDB, as well as interviews with industry insiders. All figures are pretax; fees for agents, managers and lawyers are not deducted.
All but two of the 10 highest-earning leading ladies in television hail from the original broadcast networks thanks to long-running series with 20-plus episodes per season. With longer seasons, networks demand more time from their stars but with their more limited slates, they can pour more money into their hit shows. As a result, salaries on these series can soar up to an estimated $1 million an episode, compared to an estimated $350,000 an episode for a limited series such as Big Little Lies.
Ellen Pompeo of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and Mindy Kaling of Hulu’s The Mindy Project tie for third place on the list, with earnings of $13 million each. Pompeo’s earnings, like Cuoco’s, are almost entirely from her TV work. Her high per-episode fee allowed her to out-earn Kerry Washington (No 7; $11 million), the only other Shonda Rhimes star on the list, mainly thanks to endorsement work. Kaling has begun a lucrative transition to film – she has Oceans 8 and A Wrinkle in Time opening soon – and padded her earnings with a seven-figure campaign for McDonald’s.
Robin Wright (No. 9; $9 million) joins Kaling from the streaming world. The Netflix star of House of Cards banked big for her role as Claire Underwood on one of the first shows to bring cinematic names to streaming services. Wright has since been joined by the likes of Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Emma Stone in terms of film actresses trying out the small screen.
“It used to be that films are the prestigious ones and that television was more the junk food, but that’s not true at all anymore.They are definitely on equal footing,” Paul Verna, eMarketer’s chief video analyst, told Forbes.
Despite her Emmy-nominated performance and attempts to negotiate equal pay, Wright couldn’t squeeze out quite the half-a-million dollars per episode salary of her costar Kevin Spacey. Still, it is generally easier to find pay-equality in television than in film, because small-screen casts often negotiate as a group. In TV, all the stars of a show, whether male or female, tend to make the same amount. Take Julie Bowen (No. 6; $12 million) who earns the same amount from Modern Family as Vergara and her male costars Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Ed O’Neill.
The problem remains that there are fewer star roles for women on TV to make that money. According to a recent report by San Diego State University, only 42% of speaking characters on television are women or girls, and only 11% of all programs feature casts with more female than male characters. Luckily, this seems to be shifting as legacy series with strong female characters like Mariska Hargitay (No. 5; $12.5 million) on Law and Order: SVU remain popular, and newer shows including the Priyanka Chopra (No 8; $10 million)-fronted Quantico gain buzz.
As Witherspoon said at the Emmys, “It’s been an incredible year for women in television.” And that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. – Written by ,
HUGO BOSS Partners With Porsche To Bring Action-Packed Racing Experience Through Formula E
Brought to you by Hugo Boss
HUGO BOSS and Porsche have partnered to bring an action-packed racing experience to the streets of the world’s major cities through Formula E.
Formula E is known for its fascinating races globally. The partnership will have a strong focus on the future of motorsport. In doing so the races will host a unique series for the development of electric vehicle technology, refining the design, functionality and sustainability of electric cars while creating an exciting global entertainment brand.
HUGO BOSS which boasts a long tradition of motorsports sponsorship – has been successfully engaged in the electric-powered racing series since the end of 2017.
In this collaboration, HUGO BOSS brings its 35 years of experience and expertise in the motorsport arena to Formula E, as well as the dynamic style the fashion brand is renowned for.
Mark Langer HUGO BOSS, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) says that though they have been working successfully with motorsports over the years, he is exceptionally pleased that as a fashion brand they are taking the cooperation to new heights.
“As a fashion brand, we are always looking at innovative approaches to design and sustainability. When we first encountered Formula E, we immediately saw its potential and we are pleased to be the first apparel partner to support this exciting new motorsport series,” he says.
The fashion group is also the official outfitter to the entire Porsche motorsports team worldwide.
The fascination with perfect design and innovation, along with the Porshe and Hugo Boss shared passion for racing, inspired Hugo Boss to produce the Porsche x Boss capsule collection.
Its standout features include premium leather and wool materials presented in the Porsche and HUGO BOSS colors of silver, black and red.
Since March, a range of menswear styles from the debut capsule collection is available online and at selected BOSS stores. In South Africa the first pieces of the capsule will come as a part of the FW 19 collection.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Formula E says he is confident that the racers will put their best foot forward on the racecourse.
“This new partnership will see the team on the ground at each race dressed with a winning mindset and ready to deliver a spectacular event in cities across the world. As the first Official Apparel Partner of the series, we look forward to seeing the dynamic style and innovation on show that BOSS is renowned for,” says Agag.
Oliver Blume CEO of Porsche AG says Formula E is an exceptionally attractive racing series for motorsport vehicles to develop.
“It offers us the perfect environment to strategically evolve our vehicles in terms of efficiency and sustainability. We’re looking forward to being on board in the 2019/2020 season. In this context, the renowned fashion group HUGO BOSS represents the perfect partner to outfit our team.”
Taking A Bite Out Of Africa
Subscribe to Forbes
Comedian Jim Gaffigan Rakes In $30 Million By Ditching Netflix And Betting On Himself
Mr Eazi On A Global Campaign To Mentor And Fund African Artists
Walmart Sues Tesla Over Solar Panels That Allegedly Caught Fire
Trevor Noah Is Laughing All The Way To The Bank
Executive Travel: Reneilwe Letsholonyane’s Manchester
Arts2 days ago
Trevor Noah Is Laughing All The Way To The Bank
Cover Story3 weeks ago
Feisty And Fearless Pioneers Thandi Ndlovu & Nonkululeko Gobodo
Entertainment4 weeks ago
The Movie Buff With A Happy Ending In Business
Wealth3 weeks ago
Jeff Bezos Sells About $1.8 Billion Worth Of Amazon Shares In Three Days
Opinion4 weeks ago
Amid Trade Wars, What Africa Must Do
Wealth2 weeks ago
Jeff Bezos Unloads Another $990 Million Worth Of Amazon Shares In Early August
Entertainment4 weeks ago
Is Celluloid Dead?
Entrepreneurs1 week ago
The Maverick In Tech