Forbes have release their annual list of the 10 top-earning men in Prime-Time television and as predicted they make way more money than their female counterparts do. Nearly double the $162 million combined total the women made during the same period of June 2009-June 2010.
Though ratings for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit took a hit when it was bumped up an hour to make room for Jay Leno’s short-lived 10 p.m. talk show last season, the series remains the franchise’s strongest effort. Now that the Law & Order mother ship has concluded its lengthy run, the New York-based actor and his co-star, Mariska Hargitay, become the unofficial faces of the larger franchise.
As cranky Dr. House in Fox’s long-running medical drama, Laurie continues to lure ratings and fans. The only place he seems to fall short: the Emmys, where the 51-year-old Brit is a frequent nominee but never a winner. Over on the big screen, he has joined the long-gestating indie Oranges opposite Leighton Meester and Catherine Keener.
As the best-paid man on set, Dempsey continues to send viewers swooning as Dr. McDreamy on ABC’s long-running medical drama Grey’s Anatomy. When he isn’t donning scrubs at Seattle Grace, the face of Avon can be found revving up his race cars or beefing up his film résumé. Up next, a role in the latest installment of Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise.
Though ratings have taken a tumble since he stepped in to replace William Petersen, Fishburne has something else to boast about: one of the richest TV deals around. Over on the big screen, the Academy Award nominated actor recently turned up in the Robert Rodriguez alien flick Predators. Up next: He’ll appear in Steve Soderbergh’s star-studded sci-fi thriller Contagion, shooting this fall. Off screen, it’s Fishburne’s daughter, a budding adult film star, who has gained the bulk of the headlines.
After eight highly rated seasons, Sutherland’s star vehicle ended its run in May. Though details are sparse, a movie version of the long-running 24 has been announced. What the show’s executive producer Howard Gordon has made public: his plan for Sutherland to give big-screen action stars Bruce Willis (Die Hard) and Harrison Ford (The Fugitive) a run for their money. In the meantime, Sutherland–or rather, Sutherland’s voice–graced the silver screen this past spring as raspy alpha dog Bosco in the animated flick Marmaduke.
For its fifth consecutive year, Sheen’s long-running CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men rounded out the television season as the No. 1 comedy in total viewers. After publicly flirting with the idea of departing the hit show, he negotiated the genre’s richest contract, and is back to donning bowling shirts as eternal bachelor Charlie Harper. Off screen, domestic troubles with his real-estate-investor wife, Brooke Mueller, have kept Sheen in the courtroom and the tabloids.
As The Office’s awkwardly endearing boss Michael Scott, Carell lures viewers and critical affection for a network in need of both. He generated headlines this spring when he announced this coming season would be his last. Guessing who will replace him has become a favorite parlor game among TV fans in recent months. Over on the big screen, the former Daily Show correspondent starred opposite Paul Rudd in Dinner for Schmucks and lent his voice to the part of protagonist Gru in the animated flick Despicable Me.
The Apprentice once again helped keep The Donald relevant while raking in extra cash for the billionaire. Trump, who landed at No. 153 on the Forbes 400 with a net worth of $2.4 billion, continues to expand his brand, promoting his golf courses through the Golf Channel and producing beauty pageants. The real estate mogul also reaps millions from his books and speaking engagements. The Trump stamp can be found on products ranging from alcohol to neckties and high-end mattresses.
He hosts American Idol, the American Top 40 radio countdown, On Air with Ryan Seacrest, E! News and ABC’s New Year’s Eve special. In addition to lucrative deals with Clear Channel Radio ($15 million a year), Idol parent CKX ($15 million) and the Comcast Entertainment Group ($15 million), Seacrest also develops and produces TV shows, including E’s Keeping up with the Kardashians and ABC’s Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. The Atlanta native also shills for Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Microsoft’s Bing, and is in the initial stages of launching a new cable network with talent agency CAA and entertainment giant AEG.
Cowell made much of his bounty from American Idol, the top-rated series he chose to walk away from this past spring. (Come January, new judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez will attempt to fill his shoes.) Also padding his wallet: fees from the Got Talent and X Factor franchises, along with profits from his lucrative record label. In 2011 the Brit who TV fans love to loathe will add another potential cash machine, when his latest singing competition show, The X Factor (finally) crosses the pond.
It definitely pays to be a man in Hollywood.
source: Prime-Time’s 10 Top-Earning Men [Forbes]