Who are the Highest Paid Stars on TV?

Who are the Highest Paid Stars on TV?

She's the newest judge on American Idol and now, Mariah Carey is one of the highest paid stars on TV, earning $17 million per season.

That's more than the $15 million Howard Stern is making at America's Got Talent and the $10 million Britney Spears is earning on The X-Factor.

TV Guide
has just released the list of the highest paid stars on TV.

It clearly pays to be an early riser. Matt Lauer is now the highest paid news anchor at $21.5 million a year, followed by Bill O'Reilly at $15 million, and ABC's Diane Sawyer at $12 million.

The late shift is also lucrative. David Letterman tops the list of late night earners with $28 million, Jay Leno makes $25 million and Jon Stewart on Comedy Central makes $16 million.

The highest paid sitcom star is Ashton Kutcher. He makes $700,000 per episode of Two-and-a-Half Men or $17 million per season, followed by The Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco at $7 million.

But while those salaries seem high, they're not what they used to be.

Steve Battaglio of TV Guide said, "You are not going to get super-rich being on a sitcom or drama the way the Friends cast did, making a million dollars an episode, or the cast of Seinfeld. Unless your show becomes a huge hit and you renegotiate."

Glee star, Lea Michele makes just under $2 million per season and after battling to boost their paychecks, the adult stars of Modern Family make about $4 million each.

But who is the highest paid star on TV?  

You may be surprised to learn that it's Judge Judy Sheindlin. She makes a whopping $45 million a year. The 70-year-old has anchored TV's top rated court show for a decade.

"Her show makes a lot of money. So, she deserves to make alot of money," said Battaglio.