You might recall the shock when the public learned Jerry Seinfeld was raking in $1 million per episode on the hit sitcom Seinfeld. That kind of pay set a record in the television business. A per-line analysis discovered Seinfeld was earning around $13,000 per line and yada, yada, yada.
The television industry continues to grow, and networks continue to rake in the dough. But while traditional networks, such as ABC and NBC, are doing alright, it’s streaming networks, such as Netflix, that have raised the TV bar.
With all of that cash flow, it’s no surprise actors and actresses are bringing home huge paychecks for their work on these networks’ winning shows. Take a look at how much the highest-paid actors are raking in per episode, according to Variety.
10. Bob Odenkirk, AMC’s Better Call Saul
- $150,000 per episode
Bob Odenkirk began writing for Saturday Night Live in 1987 and has since continued as a successful writer and actor. Recognizable from his role as Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad, Odenkirk has also made cameos on Curb Your Enthusiasm and Arrested Development. Odenkirk has an estimated net worth of $10 million.
9. Elisabeth Moss, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale
- $200,000 per episode
You might remember Elisabeth Moss from her breakout role in Girl, Interrupted; however, the bulk of her on-screen time was spent playing the president’s daughter on The West Wing. Moss’ recent role as June on The Handmaid’s Tale has been exceedingly successful, with the series sweeping numerous Emmy Awards, including Moss taking home the Outstanding Lead Actress award. Moss has an estimated net worth of $8 million.
8. James Spader, NBC’s The Blacklist
- $300,000 per episode
The bulk of James Spader’s television and film success is rooted in his ability to embody bizarre and unconventional roles. Spader took home three Emmy Awards for his role as Alan Sawyer on The Practice and Boston Legal. The Boston-born actor has an estimated net worth of $10 million.
7. Jason Bateman, Netflix’s Ozark
- $300,000 per episode
New York native Jason Bateman made his debut in television back in 1981 on Little House on the Prairie. Although Bateman publicly acknowledged his career in acting had become a bit lackluster, he managed to gain more acclaim and success through his role in Arrested Development. Bateman has an estimated net worth of $30 million.
6. Billy Bob Thornton, Amazon’s Goliath
- $350,000 per episode
Undoubtedly a bit of a bad boy in the Hollywood scene, Billy Bob Thornton certainly knows how to stir things up on and off the big screen. Thornton made his film debut in the 1987 thriller Hunter’s Blood. His talent and successful career continue to provide Thornton with the opportunity to play roles opposite some of the Hollywood’s most esteemed actors. Thornton’s net worth is estimated to be $45 million.
5. Claire Danes, Showtime’s Homeland
- $450,000 per episode
Claire Danes was just 15 years old when she landed the breakout role and made her television debut in the ABC series My So-Called Life. She forged her career in film with roles in Little Women, Terminator 3, and Romeo and Juliet. Danes has an estimated net worth of $20 million.
4. Kevin Costner, Paramount’s Yellowstone
- $500,000 per episode
The wildly successful career of Kevin Costner has landed him with Oscar and Golden Globe awards, along with a ton of respect from the film industry. Recently, Costner’s work in Yellowstone marks his first regular role in a television series. Costner’s net worth is $250 million.
3. Julie Bowen, ABC’s Modern Family
- $500,000 per episode
While Julie Bowen has appeared in a variety of films throughout her career, it’s her role as Claire Dunphy on ABC’s Modern Family for which she is most known. The actress has received multiple Emmy and SAG awards for her work on the show. Bowen has an estimated net worth of $16 million.
2. Dwayne Johnson, HBO’s Ballers
- $650,000 per episode
Do you smell what The Rock is cooking? Dwayne Johnson found stardom as the wrestling personality The Rock, and then he quickly moved into successful acting roles in films The Mummy Returns, Furious Seven, and San Andreas, to name a few. His role as Spencer Strasmore in Ballers greatly contributes to Johnson’s $125 million net worth.
1. Kaley Cuoco, CBS’s The Big Bang Theory
- $900,000 per episode
Starring as Penny in The Big Bang Theory since 2007, Kaley Cuoco, along with her co-stars, managed to negotiate a nice salary increase in 2014. On the pay increase, Cuoco told Redbook, “All I think about is what it means for my family … and knowing there is security for all of us.”
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!