In August, “Forbes Magazine” released its list of richest TV stars. In addition to the obvious actors making the list, like Ashton Kutcher, Patrick Demsey and Neil Patrick Harris, many names surprised me.
These are the five that shocked me the most.
1. Mark Harmon: $19 million
Sure, “NCIS” is a great series. If it weren’t, it wouldn’t be going on its 12th season. But, because it has been around for so long, it is “off my radar,” in a sense. That being said, Harmon appears to be totally deserving of his massive payday – he’s been playing Leroy Jethro Gibbs since the show’s start in 2003.
The only other person on the list who has also been with their show for 11 years is John Cryer from “Two and a Half Men,” who is also raking in $19 million. In my opinion, Cryer should have made more, considering he was forced to endure years with Charlie Sheen (who was drinking “tiger blood” at the time).
2. Kevin Spacey: $16 million
When I think of Kevin Spacey, I think films. Don’t you?
Surely, Spacey wouldn’t have embarked on a television career for a minimal paycheck, but is he really worth the $16 million he’s getting for his role on “House of Cards?” Perhaps it would make sense if “House of Cards” was around longer, but paying an actor such a large amount seems a bit excessive at this stage in the game.
Oh, and did I mention the series airs only on Netflix? Maybe it is just me, but “$16 million” and “Netflix” don’t seem like a likely combo, no matter who the actor is.
3. Jason Segel: $11 million
Jason Segel may be a big name, but caught in the middle of the large “How I Met Your Mother” cast made him a surprise to me. Segel is raking in tons of cash, and although I was surprised to see him make the cut, I feel he deserves it.
Segel has been on “How I Met Your Mother” for nearly a decade, mirroring the successes of Harmon and Cryer. When it comes to hard work and dedication on a long-running series, Segel should be paid accordingly.
4. Charlie Sheen: $10 million
Is this guy still on television? Oh right, “Anger Management.”
Now I know Sheen was at the top of his game on “Two and a Half Men,” but I stopped taking him seriously after his meltdown.
Not only did Sheen make derogatory statements about the series’ director, Chuck Lorre, calling him a “stupid little man,” among other things, but he also demanded a 50 percent raise, all while he was making an absolute ass of himself publicly. The nerve.
It’s hard to believe anyone behaving in the way Sheen has would be included on the list.
5. Josh Radnor: $10 million
Not to be rude, but, Radnor is the guy I see and know he looks familiar but can’t put my finger on where I’ve seen him. Show me Harris or Segel, and I’ll know exactly who they are and what they star in, but Radnor, not so much.
Also not working in Radnor’s favor, at least for me, are his lack of notable credits. “How I Met Your Mother” was Radnor’s first full-time role and while he’s starred in movies, including, “Liberal Arts” and “Afternoon Delight,” he has yet to establish himself outside of the comedy, which makes him a total surprise.
Highest Paid Actresses
“Modern Family” actress Sofia Vergara topped the list of Forbes’ Highest Paid TV Actresses, with a yearly salary of $37 million. This is Vergara’s third year in the number one spot. She’s followed by Mariska Hargitay ($13 million) and Kaley Cuoco ($11 million).
What’s a bit strange is the fact that Forbes doesn’t acknowledge both genders as a group. It’s not as if the men make substantially more and the women’s salaries don’t add up. For the most part, they seem to be on an even playing field.
Sure, Vergara made $11 million more than the number one man, Kutcher ($26 million), but the men’s number two salary of $19 million was more than Hargitay’s $13 million.
I also think it’s odd to see Vergara making so much more than Hargitay and Cuoco. “Modern Family” is a top show, and Vergara deserves to cash in on that, but she’s only been with the show for five years, while Hargitay has been with “Law & Order: SVU” since 1999 and Cuoco has been on “Big Bang Theory” since 2007.
Which actors and actresses were you surprised to see on the lists?
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