Simon Cowell, an executive producer and co-owner of "The X Factor" and "Got Talent" TV franchises, is ranked at the top of TV Guide's list of the highest-paid TV stars of 2013. He made $95 million in the past year, according to TV Guide, which made the announcement on Aug. 20, 2013. The full list is in TV Guide's Aug. 26 to Sept. 1, 2013 issues, which goes on sale on Aug. 22, 2013.
Cowell is a judge on "The X Factor" U.S., which airs in the U.S. on Fox. According to TV Guide, Kelly Rowland (who joined "The X Factor" U.S. judging panel in 2013) is the next-highest-paid judge on the show: Her "X Factor" salary is $2.5 million per season. That's about the same amount that TV Guide says Paula Abdul made as a judge "The X Factor" U.S. in 2011. Abdul lasted one season on the show before she was fired, along with judge Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones.
Although TV Guide did not report the salaries of the other two "X Factor" U.S. judges of 2013 (Demi Lovato and Paulina Rubio), the Hollywood Reporter claims that Lovato's "X Factor" salary was doubled to slightly more than $2 million (compared to her reported $1 million "X Factor" salary in 2012), while Rubio's "X Factor" salary in 2013 is about $1.5 million.
Sharon Osbourne (who is a judge on "The X Factor" U.K.) is also on the list, which ranks the stars' salaries only for U.S. TV shows. Therefore, only Osbourne's reported $1 million annual salary for co-hosting CBS's "The Talk" was included for her inclusion on the list. Osbourne's "X Factor" U.K. salary is about £1.5 million (or $2.35 million in U.S. dollars), according to the Daily Mirror and The Sun.
Cowell and Howard Stern were each tied for No. 1 on Forbes' 2013 list of highest-paid TV personalities list, which counted the stars' total salaries from June 2012 to June 2013. Cowell and Stern earned $95 million each in that time period, according to Forbes.
However, Stern was ranked lower on TV Guide's list because TV Guide only takes into account the money earned from a star's TV show(s). Therefore, only Stern's reported $15 million salary for being a judge on NBC's "America's Got Talent" counted for TV Guide's rankings. Stern makes the majority of his fortune from his job at Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
People eligible for TV Guide's 2013 list of highest-paid TV stars are those who are starring in U.S. TV shows for the 2013-2014 TV season. Therefore, Mariah Carey (who was paid a reported $18 million to be a judge on Fox's "American Idol") is not on the list, since she quit "American Idol" at the end of the 2012-2013 TV season.
Judy Sheindlin of the syndicated "Judge Judy" courtroom reality show is the highest-paid daytime TV star, with an annual salary of $47 million. She has held the top spot in this category ever since Oprah Winfrey ended "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 2011.
Matt Lauer of NBC's "Today" is by far the highest-paid news host, with an annual salary of $22 million to $25 million, which is more than three times the amount of what the next-highest paid news hosts are paid in the same category.
Ashton Kutcher of the CBS sitcom "Two and a Half Men" is still the highest-paid prime-time TV actor, with a salary of $750,000 per episode, according to TV Guide.
Mariska Hargitay of the NBC drama "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" is the highest-paid prime-time TV actress, with a salary of $400,000 per episode.
Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" is now the highest-paid late-night talk-show host, with an estimated annual salary of $25 million to $30 million. He surpassed David Letterman of CBS's "Late Show," who ranked No. 1 in this category for several years in a row in the past. In 2013, the annual salaries of Letterman and longtime rival Jay Leno of NBC's "Tonight Show" are each $20 million, according to TV Guide. Leno's last episode as host of "The Tonight Show" is Feb. 6, 2014. He is being replaced by Jimmy Fallon, who has hosted NBC's "Late Night" since 2009.
Here are some of the TV stars and their salaries that are on the list:
DRAMA (per episode)
Mark Harmon ("NCIS"): $525,000 + points
Claire Danes ("Homeland"): $250,000
Michael Weatherly ("NCIS"): $250,000
Peter Dinklage ("Game of Thrones"): $150,000
Tatiana Maslany ("Orphan Black"): $50,000
COMEDY (per episode)
Ashton Kutcher ("Two and a Half Men"): $750,000
Jason Segel ("How I Met Your Mother"): $225,000
Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation"): $200,000
Robin Williams ("The Crazy Ones"): $165,000
Max Greenfield ("New Girl"): $75,000
Howard Stern ("America's Got Talent"): $15 million per year
Keith Urban ("American Idol"): $5 million per year
Blake Shelton ("The Voice"): $4 million per cycle
RuPaul ("RuPaul's Drag Race"): $50,000 per episode
Reza Farahan ("Shahs of Sunset"): $18,000 per episode
LATE NIGHT (per year)
Jon Stewart ("The Daily Show"): $25-30 million
Jay Leno ("The Tonight Show"): $20 million
David Letterman ("Late Show"): $20 million
Jimmy Kimmel ("Jimmy Kimmel Live"): $10 million
Andy Cohen ("Watch What Happens Live"): $2 million
NEWS (per year)
Matt Lauer (NBC): $22-25 million
Rachel Maddow (MSNBC): $7 million
Megyn Kelly (Fox News Channel): $6 million
Scott Pelley (CBS): $5 million
Chris Cuomo (CNN): $2.5 million
DAYTIME/SYNDICATION (per year)
Judy Sheindlin ("Judge Judy"): $47 million
Katie Couric ("Katie"): $10 million
Michael Strahan ("Live with Kelly and Michael"): $4 million
Sharon Osbourne ("The Talk"): $1 million
Aisha Tyler ("The Talk"): $1 million