The annual survey of ‘Who Earns What,’ released by TV Guide, puts Judge Judy Sheindlin at the top with $45 million. Forbes estimates that the judge is worth $100 million. She and husband Jerry live in Naples, Florida, where she purchased a $6.9 million condo back in 2005. When the weather turns warm, she and Jerry spend time in their mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut. The house is 24,000-square-feet and has 13 bathrooms, 26-foot ceilings, a 50-seat home theater and a 3,150-square-foot master bedroom. In 2009, the judge purchased a $6.75 million apartment in Sherry Netherland.
Her friends say that Sheindlin prefers spending time at her homes with her five children and 11 grandchildren. She will soon become a grandmother to a 12th grandchild.
“When you do this long enough, you learn what’s really important in your life,” she during an interview with USA Today back in 2010. “That’s family. I mean, when it comes down to it, it’s just TV.”
Mayor Ed Kock appointed Sheindlin to the Family Court bench back in 1982. In 1996 she retired with a salary of $113,000 and then signed a contract for the television show. She negotiated salary increases while working on the show, pointing out how much the show was making for others. The annual list from TV Guide will be published sometime Thursday. The person in the second-place spot is David Letterman, who comes in with $28 million. Jay Leno is third with $25 million, Matt Lauer is fourth with $21.5 million and Kelly Ripa rounds out the top five with $20 million. The highest paid person for a scripted show is Mark Harmon. He makes $11 million in a season, which comes out to $500,000 per episode. After Harmon on the list is Mariska Hargitay, who makes $385,000 per episode and then three actors from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ that make $350,000 per episode.
The highest paid sitcom actors appear on ‘Two and a Half Men.’ Ashton Kutcher makes $700,000 per episode and Jon Cryer makes $600,000 per episode. The closest to those two men on the list for sitcoms is Tina Fey, who makes $350,000 per episode.
Mariah Carey will make $17 million serving as a judge for ‘American Idol.’ Howard Stern pulls down $15 million for his work on ‘America’s Got Talent.’ Ryan Seacrest is paid $15 million per year for hosting ‘American Idol.’ The Kardashian clan makes $10 million.
At the top of the broadcast network news anchors is Brian Williams, who pulls down $13 million. Diane Sawyer comes in second with $12 million and Scott Pelley brings in $4 million.
When asked about her money, Sheindlin says, “My blessing, is that I have a great family and am enjoying good health.”