USA TODAY US Edition
Vergara, Cuoco, Kaling top ‘Forbes’ list of highest-paid actresses on TV
Modern Family and Big Bang Theory still have some big numbers behind their casts.
Forbes magazine released its annual list of the highest-paid TV actresses on Wednesday, and for the second year in a row the top two names on the list come from network TV. Sofia Vergara, who plays Gloria on Modern Family, topped the list (for the fifth consecutive year) with earnings of $43 million, although the magazine noted that her role on the show was only part of her intake, which included income from various endorsement and licensing deals. Kaley Cuoco took in a cool $24.5 million, almost entirely for her work as Penny on The Big
Bang Theory, where she, along with her male co-stars, makes $1 million per episode. Rounding out the top five are Mindy Kaling at No. 3 (up from No. 9 last year) with $15 million. Mariska Hargitay of Law and Order: SVU and Ellen Pompeo of Grey’s Anatomy tied for fourth with $14.5 million each.
New additions to the top 15 include Bollywood phenom Priyanka Chopra, who made her U.S. TV debut with Quantico on ABC. She hit No. 8 on the list with $11 mil- lion. Also new is former Castle star Stana Katic, at No. 7 with $12 million. Long-time TV star Julia Louis-Drefyus made her debut on the list (which was launched after her days on Seinfeld) at No. 13. The lists for the highestpaid actor and actress on the film side raised eyebrows over the high gender gap between the male and female lists. Top female earner Jennifer Lawrence’s $46 million amounts to 72% of top male earner Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s income and would only have placed her sixth among the men. On the TV side, as Forbes notes, there is slightly less discrepancy as TV casts often negotiate their salaries together. The magazine pointed to Cuoco and Vergara, who make salaries equitable to their male co-stars, as an example of this. Kaley Cuoco took in $24.5 million, mostly for her work as Penny on The Big Bang Theory.