Friday, September 28, 2007

Television's Richest Personalities

According to Forbes magazine, here are the top 10 earners from June 2006 to June 2007. I don't think that you will be surprised who tops the list.

1. Oprah Winfrey - $260 million
2. Jerry Seinfeld - $60 million
3. Simon Cowell - $45 million
4. David Letterman - $40 million
5. Donald Trump - $32 million
6. Jay Leno - $32 million
7. Dr. Phil McGraw - $30 million
8. "Judge" Judy Sheindlin - $30 million
9. George Lopez - $26 million
10. Kiefer Sutherland - $22 million

Obviously I am in the minority, but I have never seen the appeal of Oprah's show. I watched it a couple weeks ago because David Letterman was the guest but I can count the number of times I have watched Oprah's show from beginning to end on two hands. Jerry Seinfeld has not been on TV for years, but he gets huge residuals from syndication. He also does stand up gigs around the country. His animated film, Bee Movie, comes out later this year. Simon Cowell makes money from American Idol of course, but he also stars on British TV shows and gets a share of earnings from American Idol performers. Letterman gets paid big bucks from CBS, but also gets residuals from reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond, which his company, Worldwide Pants, produced. Trump is on the list for The Apprentice, and Leno for The Tonight Show. Oprah pal Dr. Phil's show is still going strong and his $30 million is nothing to sneeze at. Some might not realize how lucrative being a TV judge can be. Judge Judy lives in New York and flies in her own private jet to Los Angeles to tape her show. George Lopez earned big bucks from syndication and stand up. Kiefer Sutherland rounds out the top 10 making $22 million for his Fox show 24. That's almost $2 million per month. I think I could live on that, how about you?
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