In the world of television, there’s a coveted club that very few actors can claim membership to — the million-dollar-per-episode club.
These are the elite few who’ve managed to command jaw-dropping paychecks for their small screen appearances. Here’s a list of those exceptional TV stars.
Charlie Sheen – “Two and a Half Men”
Charlie Sheen, once the highest-paid actor on television, was pulling in a staggering $1.8 million per episode for the hit sitcom “Two and a Half Men”.
Despite his public fall from grace, Sheen’s paycheck at the height of his tenure remains a benchmark in television salary history.
Jennifer Aniston & Reese Witherspoon – “The Morning Show”
Apple’s foray into original programming kicked off with “The Morning Show”, featuring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.
The actresses’ paychecks for the series reportedly exceeded $1 million per episode, reflecting their star power and the streaming giant’s commitment to securing top-tier talent.
The Cast of “The Big Bang Theory”
“The Big Bang Theory” was a ratings juggernaut for CBS, and by the final season, its core cast members – Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar, and Simon Helberg – were all earning about $1 million per episode.
The astronomical salaries matched the show’s astronomical success.
The Main Cast of “Friends”
In the final two seasons of “Friends”, each of the six main cast members – Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer – were making $1 million per episode. Their collective bargaining power helped set new salary standards in the sitcom world.
Jerry Seinfeld – “Seinfeld”
As the star and co-creator of “Seinfeld”, Jerry Seinfeld was reported to have made approximately $1 million per episode in the final season. His significant stake in the show’s success, including profits from syndication, means Seinfeld continues to profit from the sitcom’s enduring popularity.
Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt – “Mad About You”
“Mad About You” stars Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt were both reported to have made $1 million per episode in the final season. This made Hunt one of the highest-paid actresses on television at the time.
Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant – “The Undoing”
Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant pulled in about $1 million per episode for the HBO miniseries “The Undoing”. The high-profile pairing and the show’s critical success underscored the increasing willingness of premium cable and streaming services to shell out for top acting talent.
These television stars, through a combination of talent, timing, and successful shows, managed to break into the million-dollar club, setting salary standards that continue to shape the industry.