Highest Paid TV Stars 2013: Jon Stewart Claims Top Spot In Late Night, Judge Judy Makes $47M In Daytime

By @AndrewBerry1 on

TV Guide unveiled its annual list of the highest paid stars in television. The weekly magazine looked at notable names in different genres of television, including drama, comedy, reality, late night, news and daytime/syndication. The rankings were assigned based on salary per episode and per year.

According to TV Guide, the biggest change this year is in late night. “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart claims the top spot, earning $25-30 million per year. Stewart -- who hosts the highest rated program in the 18-49 demographic, making it very lucrative to advertisers -- dethrones David Letterman and Jay Leno, who both earn $20 million per year.

TV Guide notes that Leno and Letterman made close to $30 million last year, but that number is down due to the decreased licensing fee that CBS pays to Letterman’s production company, Worldwide Pants. Leno’s salary decreased this year after taking a huge pay cut from NBC in order to cut costs on “The Tonight Show.”  

Infamous shock jock Howard Stern is the new king of reality television, making $15 million per year as a judge on “America’s Got Talent.”

In drama, comedy and news, the top spot is occupied by the same names as last year. Mark Harmon makes $525,000 per episode for NCIS, and Ashton Kutcher makes $750,000 per episode for CBS’ “Two and a Half Men.” “The Today Show” host Matt Lauer also reigns supreme in the news, raking in $22-25 million per year.

Judy Sheindlin is the highest paid name on the list, earning $47 million for her highly popular “Judge Judy” daytime program, which is entering into its 18th season in Sept.

See the entire list below, via TV Guide

DRAMA (per episode)
Mark Harmon (NCIS): $525,000 + points
Claire Danes (Homeland): $250,000
Michael Weatherly (NCIS): $250,000
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones): $150,000
Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black): $50,000

COMEDY (per episode)
Ashton Kutcher (Two and a Half Men): $750,000
Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother): $225,000
Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation): $200,000
Robin Williams (The Crazy Ones): $165,000
Max Greenfield (New Girl): $75,000

Howard Stern (America’s Got Talent): $15 million per year
Keith Urban (American Idol): $5 million per year
Blake Shelton (The Voice): $4 million per cycle
RuPaul (RuPaul’s Drag Race): $50,000 per episode
Reza Farahan (Shahs of Sunset): $18,000 per episode

LATE NIGHT (per year)
Jon Stewart (The Daily Show): $25-30 million
Jay Leno (The Tonight Show): $20 million
David Letterman (Late Night): $20 million
Jimmy Kimmel (Jimmy Kimmel Live): $10 million
Andy Cohen (Watch What Happens Live): $2 million

NEWS (per year)
Matt Lauer (NBC): $22-25 million
Rachel Maddow (MSNBC): $7 million
Megyn Kelly (Fox News Channel): $6 million
Scott Pelley (CBS): $5 million
Chris Cuomo (CNN): $2.5 million

Judy Sheindlin (Judge Judy): $47 million
Katie Couric (Katie): $10 million
Michael Strahan (Live with Kelly and Michael): $4 million
Sharon Osbourne (The Talk): $1 million
Aisha Tyler (The Talk): $1 million

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