TV Actress Salaries: Who Gets Paid Most?

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How much is your TV favorite actress worth?

Everyone loves a list. In Hollywood people really, really love lists. (Oh, and P to the S,  Hollywood agents, publicists and dealmakers need them, because if their star clients aren’t on them, they don’t receive nearly as many perks/job offers/invitations and often, awards.) There’s a very big salary list circulating, once again, courtesy of Forbes, featuring the highest paid TV actresses. You’ve probably already seen it. But in case you haven’t, there is serious cheese to be made in the world of television if you happen to be starring in (and writing and producing) a television show. Just ask Tina Fey. Plus perhaps you lend your attractive mug to a clothing or skin care line, and then maybe you introduce a successful fragrance too. Never a bad idea.

Tina Fey and Eva Longoria both made $13 million last year. Both have shows, one had a huge bestseller and the other sold plenty of perfume. Meanwhile, the other Housewives aren’t far behind. Marcia CrossLaw & Order: SVU’s Mariska Hargitay, and CSI’s Marg Helgenberger each brought home $10 million in earnings. Just behind them we have Teri Hatcher and Felicity Huffman with $9 million. Moving down the list, Cougartown’s Courteney Cox and Grey’s Anatomy’s own Ellen Pompeo each made $7 million. Julianna Margulies collected a $6 million paycheck, just enough to purchase multiple mantles for those multiple Emmys. Now, given the list, with the exception of Tina and Courteney, it would seem that the big bucks go to ladies who star in more serious TV. Even though Housewives can be laughable at times, you know what I mean. Apparently big bucks come when you plot to murder your cheating husband, you investigate dead bodies, or you sew barely living ones back together. Just saying.

Needless to say, these girls did rather well for themselves; later on in the week we’ll talk about rich celebrity couples, several of whom produce beyond mad incomes.

Who saw the second episode of Pan Am last night? Any thoughts? I had very high hopes, and am nearly certain ABC does too. I also happen to feel that Christina Ricci can levitate almost anything coming from a large or small screen. Last week it was all about setting up exotic European locales, and people breaking away from constrained lives to visit them. This week we got a crowded nightclub and, if you ask me, a little too much land-locked family intervention. The show is about departures, after all, and even though we need to understand how these girls got to have these glamorous jobs, it might be more fun to see what they entail. Rather than focusing on how they flew the stateside coop. Also – and this is a teensy peeve but it really colors the show for me– even though the clothes and settings look pretty authentic, the pilots all have long-ish hair for the period. Especially the lead pilot. Which bugs me because even though there were obviously hippies at that time, the guys who flew this most prestigious of airlines  — who may still have been ne’er do wells with convertibles – were not; they also worked for an important corporation and would have been groomed just like Eddie Cibrian in The Playboy Club. The show still has promise, and we got a nice dose of the sexism that characterized the era in this episode, but I’m left wanting more. In fact, maybe two things would help: one, more espionage, and two, more Christina Ricci.

Today’s poll:

The Highest Paid Actress List is out. Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these top earners is your favorite:

1) Tina Fey

2) Eva Longoria

3) Mariska Hargitay

4) Marg Helgenberger

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