The numbers are in, and if an actor’s character doesn’t have a friend named Sheldon or a relative named Pritchett (or if he isn’t named Sheldon or Pritchett), chances are he didn’t make this year’s list of top-paid TV actors.
The stars of The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family dominate our list, with Big Bang’s Jim Parsons nabbing the top spot thanks to $27.5 million earned in the year to June 1.
“When I read Big Bang it was definitely special to me. I would definitely not presume to say I thought it was going to be a hit show or be picked up, but I know that I was being presented with a character that was, in its own weird way, a really good fit, that I thought I could do,” Parsons told Variety.
As a member of the top-paid cast on television, and the top-rated show, Parsons makes $1 million per episode, as do fellow listees Johnny Galecki (No. 2, $26.5 million), Simon Helberg (No. 3, $26 million) and Kunal Nayyar (No. 4, $25 million). That means each earns $24 million per season from the show – plus a chunk of backend. Their salaries will decrease next year, as they, along with castmate Kaley Cuoco, each took a $100,000-per-episode pay cut for the upcoming season to give co-stars Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch higher salaries.
Though he has the same salary as other Big Bang stars, Parsons edges them out in total earnings thanks to a seven-figure endorsement deal with Intel, a role in Oscar-nominated Hidden Figures and a short stint on Sirius radio. Next year, we can expect to see his earnings increase (even with that Big Bang salary decrease) thanks to Young Sheldon, the new CBS comedy which he narrates and produces.
Combined, the 10 actors on this year’s list made $185 million. 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.
The Modern Family cast takes four spots on the list, led by Ty Burrell (No. 6, $13.5 million). Like the cast of The Big Bang Theory, the Modern Family stars negotiated together for their salary – nearly $4 million per episode, plus profit participation – so they each earn the same amount.
Burrell, like Parsons, out-earned his castmates thanks to lucrative endorsement deals with the likes of Gain and The National Association of Realtors, as well as roles in the animated films Storks and Finding Dory.
“I had been running from this moment for years—a deeply personal rejection from the one thing I loved and could do—knowing we were going to meet down the road,” Burrell wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times earlier this year about his first meeting with an agent. The agent, who told Burrell his features were too big for TV and that he should shave his arms, was apparently wrong.
Rounding out the list are Mark Harmon (No. 5, $19 million) and Kevin Spacey (No. 8, $12 million), who serve as executive producers on NCIS and House of Cards, respectively. For Harmon, that role is particularly lucrative; he not only gets per-episode salaries for acting and producing, but also a piece of the show’s profit, as well as a share of the profits of NCIS: New Orleans, for which he also serves as an executive producer. With NCIS extremely popular in syndication, this money adds up.
While the top-earning TV actress, Sofia Vergara, managed to out-earn her male counterpart Parsons by $14 million, the combined earnings of the TV actors—$185 million—is still more than the $156.5 million of the TV actresses. This has more to do with the lack of high-paying roles for women on TV than a salary difference once they’ve achieved those roles. For example, the core cast members of The Big Bang Theory each gets paid $1 million per episode, guaranteeing them spots on these lists, but that core cast includes four men and only one woman. 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.
The same problem – a lack of roles – accounts for the lack of diversity on the list, which features only one actor of color: Big Bang’s Kunal Nayyar. But the landscape of television is shifting, and TV seems to be getting more diverse: Minority actors comprised 11.4% of the lead roles on broadcast scripted television, according to UCLA’s 2017 Hollywood Diversity Report. That’s an increase of more than 3 percentage points over 2016.
The longer shows with diverse casts are on air, the more leverage their stars will have to negotiate higher salaries. So don’t be surprised to see stars like Anthony Anderson, Terrence Howard and Sterling K. Brown on the list in years to come. – 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.”
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