Since Jerry Seinfeld broke new ground in 1997 and became the first actor to earn $ 1 million per episode, there has been a major precedent for any popular TV show. One that has only been reaffirmed with age, especially in the sitcom genre. Friends got the same payment for his actors in seasons 9 and 10. It’s been quite a while since then, so let’s take a look at the TV actor’s pay status in 2021.
Whatever genre you prefer, whatever your tastes, you’ve probably heard of Law and Order. This procedural and legal drama of the American police by Dick wolf raced for twenty years before concluding her run in 2010. Among the many cast members is Mariska Hargitay, who fans of the show remember for her role as Detective Olivia Benson.
Over the years, we’ve been fortunate enough to see her perform a variety of hard-hitting scenes. The dedication to this twenty-season show finally paid off. Over the two decades of the series, Hargitay achieved an episode payout of $ 500,000. Law and Order ended its run, but Hargitay found other projects to spend time on. Her Joyful Heart Foundation is dedicated to helping survivors of abuse and violence as well as educating people on how to recognize and report abuse.
Another star in a longtime drama series. Ellen Pompeo is perhaps best known for her role as Dr Meredith Gray in Grey’s Anatomy, a drama focused on the personal and professional lives of surgical interns and their supervisors. The show has aired since 2005, making it the longest-running prime-time scripted show currently airing on ABC, as well as the longest-running prime-time scripted series on ABC. Grey’s Anatomy has been renewed for another season, 17 in total, with Ellen Pompeo sticking to it. She signed a new agreement for her payment in 2018. During season 14, she negotiated to be paid $ 575,000 per episode. This made her one of the highest paid TV actresses.
Star of Handmaid’s Tale has a long history with television. She has been in the industry since the age of 8 and has received many accolades since. Two Primetime Emmy Awards and two Golden Globes are among his greatest accomplishments. One of the many shows you may be familiar with is Mad Men, where she plays Peggy Olson. Her paycheck reflects the rich history as she is paid $ 1 million per episode of The Handmaid’s Tale, which will soon receive its fourth season. With that comes an early renewal for Season 5, confirming that the series will have a lot more to tell us and will keep us on the lookout for a few more years.
Another well-established actress in the industry, Nicole Kidman shows no signs of slowing down in her nearly 40-year career. Kidman’s more recent roles have only reinforced her acting prowess. The drama and thriller genres seem to be particularly appealing to Kidman. His role in Big Little Lies is perhaps one of this industry veteran’s most memorable recent releases. It also allowed him to boast $ 1 million per episode. Of course, thriller TV shows like The Undoing and Top Of The Lake are another worthy mention of his recent work. If both of these shows appeal to you, or if you’re craving more intense thrillers, check out https://thevore.com/crime-thriller-tv-shows-detectives/.
Watch Reedus’ career makes you wonder “in what medium has this man not been?”. Some of his older works include music videos, such as Björk’s Violently Happy. After that he embarked on films with Floating and Mimic before ending up in the realm of TV shows with Charmed. From there, Reedus continued to build his repertoire and eventually landed a role in The Walking Dead as one of his oldest characters, Daryl Dixon. With that same show, Reedus hit the payout of $ 1 million per episode. The series has already planned a spinoff series, with Dixon remaining one of the characters.
An actress and producer with well-known roles in both, Reese Witherspoon unsurprisingly makes the list. Her career as a producer culminated in Small fires everywhere, a show based on the novel of the same name by Celeste NG. In terms of acting, Witherspoon hit $ 1 million per episode in Big Little Lies, while her role in Little Fires Everywhere currently earns her $ 1.1 million per episode. However, it does not end there. Witherspoon’s role on The Morning Show, where she co-starred with Jennifer Aniston, earned her $ 2 million per episode!
Speaking of Little Fires Everywhere, the series wouldn’t be complete without the role of Kerry Washington. She also had the additional duty of executive producer on the series, reinforcing her importance to the series as a whole and her abilities as a producer, a role in which she has made progress since 2016. While her career is much broader that just Little Fires Everywhere, its payout of $ 1.1 million per episode makes it a vital aspect of its placement here.
Probably the most famous face on the list. Aniston’s role as Rachel Green on the hugely popular sitcom Friends has remained her defining role, even years after the show ended. Since then, she has mingled with a multitude of genres and has rediscovered Courtney cox, who played Monica in Friends, playing in Cougar Town. Even though Friends had a high payout per episode, Aniston managed to reach a new career high with another show. This television show is The Morning Show, a drama about the personal and professional lives of the hosts of the morning show. This recent role has boosted Aniston’s highest payout per episode by cashing in $ 2 million for his role as Alex Levy. The show has been confirmed for another season to air on AppleTV +.