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Who Earns the Most Money On TV?

Jon Hamm as the character Don Draper in Mad Men
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
By Jeff Deminski

What are your favorite television stars earning? Do you really want to read this? Will you like them less if you know? Jay Leno and David Letterman used to earn in excess of 30 million dollars. But more competition and lower ratings have them each getting by on $20 million. Jimmy Kimmel’s making $10 million. Who earns more?

Jersey’s own Jon Stewart. Jon’s annual salary from Comedy Central’s ‘Daily Show’ is between $25 – $30 million. That could buy a lot of pizza in Chambersburg, eh? TV Guide released these numbers and they say Jon Stewart’s earnings have increased due to his outrageous success in the coveted 18-49 year old demographic that advertisers most long for.

Who else is doing well? Ashton Kutcher gets $750,000 per episode on Two And A Half Men. The Today Show’s Matt Lauer is making $20-$25 million. Mark Harmon of NCIS makes $525,000 per episode. Howard Stern of America’s Got Talent is pulling $15 million a season.

Who on TV earns the most? You may be shocked. It’s Judy Sheindlin. Who? Yep, that Judy. Judge Judy. Her syndicated afternoon show earned her $47 million dollars last year.

You can view the full TVGuide slideshow by clicking here.

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