The 10 Highest-Paid TV Actresses of 2016
2016 has been a very profitable year for some of the biggest female stars on the small-screen. Forbes just released their annual list of the highest-paid TV actresses, ranking series leads from around the globe based on their total income for the period of June 1, 2015 to June 1, 2016.
Several notable television stars, including Modern Family‘s Julie Bowen, Quantico‘s Priyanka Chopra, and Castle‘s Stana Katic, were able to crack the list with their sizable paychecks. But which popular names commanded the biggest earnings over the time period? Here’s a look at the 10 highest-paid TV actresses in the world last year.
10. Julie Bowen
Total income: $10 million
Along with her Modern Family co-stars, Bowen is part of one of the highest-paid ensemble casts on TV. In addition to her small-screen work, the actress brings in additional earnings from her endorsement deal with Neutrogena.
9. Julianna Margulies
Total income: $10.5 million
Marguiles lands within the top 10 of this year’s highest-paid actresses, thanks to her role on The Good Wife. The actress brought in a sizable paycheck for reprising her starring role on the final season of the critically acclaimed CBS drama.
8. Priyanka Chopra
Total income: $11 million
The actress has appeared in hit Bollywood films like Bajirao Mastani and Jai Gangaaja and has also made her name known stateside with a starring role on ABC’s Quantico. But that’s just the beginning. Chopra has an even bigger year ahead as she’s set to star alongside Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron in the upcoming Baywatch remake.
7. Stana Katic
Total income: $12 million
Katic landed on this list for the first time, thanks to her lucrative contract for Castle‘s final season. The renegotiated deal not only resulted in a salary increase, it also allotted her a sizable chunk of the show’s backend.
6. Kerry Washington
Total income: $13.5 million
The actress continues her starring role on ABC’s Scandal. But that’s not the only thing she has on her resume. The star rakes in additional income from her various high profile endorsement deals with companies like Neutrogena, Apple Music, and Movado.
5 (tie). Ellen Pompeo
Total income: $14.5 million
Pompeo retains her spot as one of the highest-paid TV actresses, thanks to her starring role on ABC’s long-running medical drama, Grey’s Anatomy. Though she’s already seen a bit of an increase over last year’s income ($11.5 million), that’s likely nothing compared to what we’ll see next year. After Grey’s Anatomy experienced a ratings resurgence in its last season, Pompeo entered this year’s contract renegotiations in a more powerful position than ever and reportedly netted a big raise to return as Dr. Meredith Grey in Season 13.
4 (tie). Mariska Hargitay
Total income: $14.5 million
Hargitay has been the star of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit since its inception and you can bet her salary has seen several significant bumps since then. With the Dick Wolf-produced procedural seeing continuing success and now heading into its 18th season, Hargitay is set to continue bringing in the big bucks for her role as Detective Olivia Benson.
3. Mindy Kaling
Total income: $15 million
Kaling garners a sizable salary for her starring role on Hulu’s The Mindy Project, but that’s not the only income she gets from the show. According to Forbes, Kaling earns additional earnings for being the creator and producer of the comedy. She also adds to her millions with projects outside of the TV sphere. The actress and her former The Office co-star, B.J. Novak reportedly earned an advance of over $7 million for their upcoming book.
2. Kaley Cuoco
Total income: $24.5 million
The Big Bang Theory is the highest-rated comedy on TV, so it’s no surprise that the cast earns big paychecks. In 2014, Cuoco and co-stars Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki negotiated the best deal of any other cast currently on television: a whopping $1 million per episode. Considering that each season runs for 24 episodes, Cuoco is taking home about $24 million a season, easily making her one of the highest-paid actresses on TV.
1. Sofía Vergara
Total income: $43 million
For the fifth year in a row, Vergara takes Forbes’ title for the top-earning actress on TV. Unlike Cuoco though, Vergara makes most of her money outside of her television show. Though the actress earns just as much as her five adult Modern Family co-stars (about $170 to 175,00 per episode), she supplements her annual income with a slew of lucrative endorsements for everything from a Rooms To Go Furniture line to a coffee maker to Head & Shoulders shampoo. Thanks to these profitable deals, Vergara saw a 66% increase in her 2016 earnings over last year’s income.
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