Judy Sheindlin, more commonly known as Judge Judy, has taken the number one spot for highest paid television hosts in 2018, according to Forbes. Coming in at a whopping $147 million last year, Sheindlin blew Ellen DeGeneres out of the water. She also beat out other high-profile hosts such as Dr. Phil McGraw and Steve Harvey.
Though the airwaves are overrun with television hosts, both day and night time, it has been Sheindlin’s business skills that set her apart from the others. According to Forbes, Sheindlin sold the rights to the episode library of her show Judge Judy to CBS for $100 million. Adding to the calculations were her $47 million paychecks for Judge Judy and Hot Bench, which she produces. This put her over the top, dominating the bottom line and making her net worth $400 million. Sheindlin now ranks 48 for the richest self-made woman in America. The number one spot is held by Diane Hendricks, the woman who owns ABC Supply.
Judge Judy is still a popular daytime show, gathering as many as 10 million viewers per day. Dr. Phil averages 4 million viewers per day and Dr. Phil was ranked the third highest paid television host, coming in after DeGeneres.
At the fifth annual Forbes Women’s Summit, Sheindlin credited her success to negotiating skills and being able to maneuver in a male-dominated world.
“I went to law school when women were about as welcome as a skunk at a lawn party,” said Sheindlin, as reported by Forbes. “It toughens you up.”
Sheindlin was with New York’s Family Court for almost 25 years before her debut as the host on Judge Judy. She was 52-years-old before getting in front of the camera. Now 76-years-old, Sheindlin won her third Daytime Emmy in 2017 and ranks number four as the highest paid celebrity in 2018. Sheindlin comes in right behind Floyd Mayweather, George Clooney, and Kylie Jenner.
“Many people, as I did in the beginning, get stuck with a job they don’t really like,” Sheindlin said, as reported by Forbes. “If you’re not doing something that you love to do, find something that you love to do because it will make your whole life different.”
DeGeneres saw earnings of $87.5 million last year and was the first woman in history to get a $20 million check for a stand-up special on Netflix. Dr. Phil earned $77.5 million with one of the most syndicated shows on television. Ryan Seacrest showed earnings of $74 million and Harvey cashed in on $44 million last year.