The 10 highest paid sitcom stars of all time
Television has long been the dominant medium for American comedy, with series ranging from The simpsons for Office telling carefully crafted, hysterical stories too dependent on physicality to be relegated to literature and too elongated to be filmed.
Many of the genre’s most imminent stars have profited considerably from their work – despite television’s former reputation as a lesser medium – and many of the shows they have starred in have become cultural mainstays that are cherished by audiences. fans long after their respective conclusions.
Drew Carey (The Drew Carey Show; $750,000 per episode)
The comedian now best known for his animation stays on The price is right and Whose is the Anywa lineand? had previously succeeded as an actor, directing the ABC sitcom The Drew Carey Show from 1995 to 2004.
According to celebritynetworth.com, the show’s popularity earned him a salary that peaked at $750,000 per episode, making him one of the highest-paid sitcom stars in the history of the art form. . With the equally high salaries he earned for his roles in the other aforementioned shows, Carey is now one of the richest comedians in Hollywood.
Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld; $1 million per episode)
Seinfeld is considered by many comedy aficionados to be the greatest and most inventive sitcom ever to air, and the show’s star and namesake has been well compensated for his contribution to its success.
According to Weekly entertainment, Jerry Seinfeld received $1 million per episode at the end of the show’s nine seasons – more money than any of its three main partners. The show’s second life in the form of syndication, DVD sales and streaming has certainly provided him with an extra fortune on top of his high 1990s salary.
Kaley Cuoco, Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory; $1 million per episode)
The Big Bang Theory was a multi-camera, multi-layered sitcom of laughs at a time when such techniques were widely considered antiquated in television comedy. Much of the show’s popularity was due to the performances of its lead actors – particularly Kaley Cuoco and Jim Parsons, who were involved in some of the best storylines in The Big Bang Theory.
In addition to Johnny Galecki, Cuoco and Parsons earned $1 million per episode when the show ended in 2019, according to an article by Variety. The series’ overwhelming mainstream success ensured the financial security of the main actors, in addition to their reputation as effective comedic actors.
Jason Sudeikis (Ted Lasso; $1 million per episode)
Jason Sudeikis maintained a relatively low profile for several years following his departure from Saturday Night Live in 2013, but his Apple TV+ comedy series, Ted Lassolaunched him to such a stratospheric level of success that he and his show are now practically unmissable.
The phenomenal popularity of the show, for which Sudeikis serves as executive producer in addition to delivering one of Ted Lassobest performance of, won the SNL alum a considerable fortune. According to an article by The Hollywood ReporterSudeikis now earns $1 million per episode from the show, putting him in the highest ranks of sitcom earners in television history.
Friends Main Cast ($1 million per episode)
While many sitcoms lose relevance soon after their conclusion, the NBC show Friends is arguably just as watched and discussed 18 years after its series finale as it was when it aired in the mid to late 1990s and early 2000s.
As the show grew in notoriety and commercial success, its six stars negotiated the higher salaries they thought they were entitled to because of their portrayals of Friends‘ best characters. According to We Weekly, the six main cast members eventually earned $1 million per episode in the show’s final seasons. Additionally, they were each paid $2.5 million for their appearance in the Friends reunion special on HBO Max in 2021.
Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser (Crazy of you; $1 million per episode)
Crazy of you Stars Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser were among many 1990s sitcom actors who translated the genre’s resurgent success into unprecedented income not long before.
According to Weekly entertainmentHunt and Reiser each earned $1 million per episode from the show at its peak, a salary equivalent to that of NBC’s six main cast members. Friends. Along with securing their high salaries, the chemistry between the two stars has solidified Crazy of youis one of the most watched and beloved programs of its time.
Tim Allen (Home improvement; $1.25 million per episode)
Home improvement, the ABC series that served as the star vehicle of stand-up comedian Tim Allen, was immensely popular and profitable when it aired in the 1990s, and its success provided Allen with financial prosperity in addition to career security. . According to fox businessAllen’s salary at the show’s peak was $1.25 million per episode, making him one of the highest-paid sitcom stars to ever work in the business.
The actor and comedian tried to reproduce Home improvementthe success of in the 21st century with the ABC/Fox sitcom Last man standingbut celebritynetworth.com reports that he only earned $235,000 per episode at the peak of that series.
Kelsey Grammer (fraser; $1.6 million per episode)
Television spinoffs have earned a reputation for horrendous creative and business decisions, with most failing to replicate the mainstream success and/or artistic merit of the best-regarded series from which they originated.
fraserwhich tackled deep issues by following a character from Cheers, is perhaps the most notable and dramatic exception to this trend. It achieved enough monetary success that the network was able to offer star Kelsey Grammer $1.6 million per episode during the show’s biggest seasons, according to Showbiz Cheat Sheet – an unusually high salary for a TV actor.
Ray Romano (Everybody loves Raymond; $1.725 million per episode)
Actor and comedian Ray Romano – who has since ventured into dramatic territory with his work in films such as The Irishman and paddleton – began his career as a decidedly comedic entertainer, cutting his teeth as a stand-up comedian before directing his own sitcom for CBS from 1996 to 2005.
The series was a commercial powerhouse during its run, and such profitability secured star and namesake Romano as one of the highest-earning television stars of all time. Yahoo! reports that he earned $1.725 million per episode over the show’s final seasons, making him the second highest-paid sitcom star in television history.
Charlie Sheen (two and a half men; $1.8 million per episode)
Charlie Sheen’s run as the star of the hugely popular Chuck Lorre production two and a half men notoriously ended in shambles, with his unruly and headline-grabbing behavior leading CBS to publicly fire him in 2011. This proved to be a significant financial disappointment for Sheen, as he earned 1.8 million dollars per episode of the show at the end of its contract (per Screen Rant).
two and a half men didn’t prove as timeless as 2000s sitcoms such as Development stopped and Officebut its popularity during its run translated into immense profitability.
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