Here Are The Top Paid TV Actors & Actresses

The pay gap is closing, slowly.

The cast of 'The Big Bang Theory' onstage during the People's Choice Awards 2017 at Microsoft Theater on January 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
Christopher Polk / Getty Images

The pay gap is closing, slowly.

According to the BBC, as far as the list of top-paid television actors goes, Sofia Vergara has landed at the apex for the seventh year in a row. Some may view this as a win for women in Hollywood, who have recently condemned the pay gap between men and women in the film and television industries. However, “the top 10 men still earned more than the top 10 women,” as the BBC notes.

A majority of the names on the list include actors from The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family, which comes as no surprise given that both shows have enjoyed a prolonged period of popularity.

Highest-paid television actresses in the U.S.

1. Sofia Vergara (Modern Family) — $42.5 million

2. Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory) — $24.5 million

3. Ellen Pompeo (Grey’s Anatomy) — $23.5 million

4. Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU) — $13 million

5. Julie Bowen (Modern Family) — $12.5 million

6. Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory) — $12 million

7. Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) — $12 million

8. Kerry Washington (Scandal) — $11 million

9. Claire Danes (Homeland) — $9 million

10. Pauley Perrette (NCIS) — $8.5 million

Highest-paid television actors in the U.S.

1. Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) — $26.5 million

2. Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory) — $25 million

3. Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory) — $23.5 million

4. Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) — $23.5 million

5. Mark Harmon (NCIS) — $19 million

6. Ed O’Neill (Modern Family) — $14 million

7. Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) — $13.5 million

8. Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family) — $13 million

9. Ty Burrell (Modern Family) — $12 million

10. Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead) — $11 million

It is actually due to both talent and assistance from their The Big Bang Theory co-stars that Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch are even on the list. Their co-stars “took pay cuts in order to give” them a higher salary, which also caused those same actors to drop lower on the list of highest-paid television stars.

Many of the stars have moved up on the list from last year after re-signing contracts with their television network, an action which is usually accompanied by a raise.

The stars’ monetary worth is calculated not only from their television salaries, but also any “sponsorship and licensing deals.” Sofia Vergara includes her partnership with SharkNinja, Jim Parsons includes his deal with Intel, and Kaley Cuoco has her deal with Priceline.com, to name a few.

As the entire main cast of The Big Bang Theory sits on the highest-paid lists, it will be curious to see how much, if at all, the lists change following the show’s cancellation. According to Esquire, it is one of CBS’s highest-rated shows, but it will end in 2019 after 12 seasons. Due to their fame, popularity, talent, and success, it would be hard to believe that the curtain would close on any of The Big Bang Theory cast, though. Viewers and fans will have to stay-tuned for their next steps.