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Forbes' List of Top 10 Male TV Earners

Posted: November 11th, 2009 by WorstPreviews.com Staff
ForbesSubmit Comment
According to Forbes magazine, Simon Cowell - who is an "American Idol" judge, creator of "America's Got Talent" and a record producer - became the top-earning man on primetime US television with estimated earnings of $75 million.

Cowell beat out "The Apprentice" host Donald Trump ($50 million) and "American Idol" presenter Ryan Seacrest ($38 million), based on estimated pre-tax earnings from June 1st, 2008 - June 1st, 2009.

Most of the top earners have several entertainment-related ventures, Forbes said. Cowell has his own record label, which has signed singers including Leona Lewis and Susan Boyle, in addition to his duties as a judge on "Idol" -- the most watched TV show in the United States for seven years.

Apart from "Apprentice," Trump lends his name to products ranging from neckties to vodka and reaps fees from speeches and books. Seacrest, 34, has a Los Angeles morning radio show, is a celebrity TV host and developed the TV reality show "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," as well as hosting "Idol."

Rounding out the top five are "Two and a Half Men" star Charlie Sheen ($21 million) and "The Office" actor Steve Carell ($20 million).

The entire top 10 list:

1. Simon Cowell ($75 million)
2. Donald Trump ($50 million)
3. Ryan Seacrest ($38 million)
4. Charlie Sheen ($21 million)
5. Steve Carell ($20 million)
6. Howie Mandel ($15 million)
7. Kiefer Sutherland ($13 million)
8. Jeff Foxworthy ($11 million)
9. Hugh Laurie ($10 million)
10. David Caruso ($9 million)

Source: THR


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Displaying 38 comment(s) Profanity: Turn On
Ranger writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 5:27:36 AM

Hugh Laurie is grossly underpaid.

And he's too modest, and has too crappy of an Agent to ask/get more $'s.
wonderBOY writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 5:29:17 AM

the top 3 are from reality/sh*t shows how low can tv get and jerry seinfeld still makes more than all of them from reruns and thats been off the air for 10 years
Ranger writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 5:44:34 AM

And David Caruso could be replaced with a cardboard cut-out.

Hey Hugh... if you're reading this... GO SNAG CARUSO'S AGENT AND FIRE YOURS (better yet... let Trump fire him!)!
RickyGabrielBird writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 5:53:25 AM

With all that money you would think Cowell would dress better.
Cd_Smith0 writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 6:07:40 AM

Or get rid of his man boobs
Osiris3eagle writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 7:43:56 AM

f*cking Ryan Seacrest, that no-talent ass clown
otis writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 8:34:45 AM

I think this patently reflects where we as a country are.
SACdaddy writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 8:39:46 AM

So nobody is wondering how Jeff Foxworthy and Howie Mandel got on this list?
SACdaddy writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 9:25:05 AM

@Otis: yeah, apparently we're still rolling in money!

@Ranger: Caruso's da man. Where else you gonna find an actor that hits a walkoff homerun everytime he drops a line? (he literally walks off screen everytime!) His sunglasses are cooler than all these other *ssholes on this list put together. (for the record I think I bumped my head getting out of bed this morning)

If anyone's underpaid it's Kiefer Sutherland. The guy has been putting boot to ass for the old US of A since 9/11 and still isn't cracking the Top 5 on the money list. How many times does a guy have to save the world to start seeing some real Amigo money? It is good to see the Young Guns still bankin though.
lawman writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 10:38:32 AM

OTIS>>>> Ideed it does. It reflects that men are far superior and thus, command a salary commesurate with our supreme awesomeness!
KirkLazerus writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 10:52:42 AM

Kiefer and Hugh should be getting paid more than the dudes in the top 5.
lawman writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 10:55:28 AM

Kirk>>>>>>>>WRONG!!!!! Seacrest is worth EVERY penny. He is a priceless gem. Men EVERYWHERE would not be able to gauge gayness without him!!! Now you bite your toungue young man, and you thank god for Seacrest!
The5thBeatle5 writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 11:14:03 AM

Hugh definitely should get paid more!! Foxworthy gets payed more then him, REALLY???
jeffw1978 writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 11:20:11 AM

I can play an *sshole on TV think they will give me 75 mil? All of these people suck with the exception of; Laurie and carell. I was going to say sutherland doesn't suck then I realized he does.
marighand writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 11:32:45 AM

white males, i'm not surprised
lawman writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 11:34:48 AM

OH I ALMOST FORGOT, WHTES SHOULD GET PAID MORE TOO! WE ARE THE BEST!
victor arroyo writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 11:38:15 AM

overpaid: Charlie Sheen, David Caruso and yes jeffw1978 Kiefer Sutherland sucks scrotum.

Underpaid: Steve Carell and yes Ranges Hugh Laurie, he shoul make at least 20 mill.

PEACE!
BobMcBob writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 11:47:54 AM

How is Donald Trump is earning so much money while the ratings for his show have plummeted?
MontoyaWA writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 12:10:42 PM

I guess he doesn't really apply to this list, but Larry David should definitely be in the top 10. Funniest show on the air.
NatG83 writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 12:23:18 PM

Whether you like him or not (and I don't really care for him), Ryan Seacrest made a smart move. I don't if anyone else remembers, but there were two hosts for American Idol in the beginning. The other-guy decided he didn't want to get "stuck" or "type-cast," so he went on to better things. Ha!

Trump is getting too much money for his TV appearance. He's just doing what he does off screen. I like Charlie Sheen, but that's a big nut for that show. Same with Steve Carell. Kiefer is a good actor, but I don't think 24 is his best work. Hugh Laurie deserves more. David Caruso is a stiff.

WTF Howie Mandel? And I never cared for Jeff Foxworthy, but good for him.
Peter Parker writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 1:37:21 PM

What? K-Fed didn't make the list?!!
AshTrey writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 2:08:01 PM

IS DEAD OR NO DEAL STILL ONN THE AIR?? HOW IS HOWIE MAKING ALL THIS MONEY?? is this not including actors like pitt and denzel who make $20 mil a picture??
murphyslaw93 writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 2:50:16 PM

The top 3 do nothing.

Charlie And Steve actually are amazing on their respective shows, they can milk all the cash they want.

...does anyone actually watch Deal or No Deal...?

Sutherland and Laurie should be making more than Foxworthy

And David Caruso needs to go back to acting school
Ranger writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 2:51:15 PM

@Ash - you're right. this list is pretty lame and missing a TON of people that should be on it.
Peter Parker writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 2:59:25 PM

That's not one of my lists, that's for sure! lol
triggax writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 3:17:36 PM

Funny list...
Simon Cowell is probably the only deserving person on that list... Not because American Idol is entertaining or I like it or anything.. But the guy f*cking built a multi million dollar empire from the ground up with that f*cking television show...
Seacrest is a little bitch and I cant f*cking believe he makes what he does, riding on the coat tails of everyone elses success..
Donald Trump shouldn't even be on there... As for the rest they're all WASP actors that got dumped onto pile of sh*t mainstream network television programs...
Two and a Half Men.. Watched it once, I can't believe I still have eyes.
Howie Mandel, someone should put him out of his misery..
US Office blows, Carrel should stick to Correspondence if hes gonna be on TV again.. Kiefer... A very very canadian man fighting americas wars... yeah...
Foxworthy... Has no business being anywhere near my eyes, or ears... (you stay away from that ranger)
Laurie, possibly the only deserving actor on this list, and 10 mill is f*cking high for what he does.. its still a joke any way you look at it..
and dont even get me bloody started on David Caruso.. f*ck...
Honestly I can't believe that any of these f*cking guys make more than 6 figures for appearing on network cable shows... It's all mindless retardation for the masses... garbage f*cking mind poison.. they should be castrated not paid and praised.
Ranger writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 3:31:42 PM

Me?! What was I gonna say?!
Ranger writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 3:36:17 PM

We should note that Keifer's contract was multi-year... something like $54mil. So, still better than a square kick to the nuts.

Trig - if... IF they can afford these kinds of $'s... then yes, Laurie is VERY LOW paid... by comparison. His hour drama and tough script, plus HE IS HOUSE... all mean he should have his Agent shot AND pissed on. I mean, I like Carell... but compare what Hugh delivers as compared to him.

Hugh Laurie's Agent should die.

Ranger writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 3:36:31 PM

PS: nice to have you back into the mix Trig.
Ranger writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 3:41:56 PM

Mandel +$5mil. more than Hugh Laurie?!

f*ck me!
Ranger writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 3:49:45 PM

And (before anyone posts) I DO know the difference (pay scale-wise) of main stream networking and cable jobs.
Mighte Migit writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 4:23:06 PM

why is simon cowell at the top?
holtlt writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 4:55:20 PM

Gary Sinise or Laurence Fishbourne should earn more than the one-liner, side-standing, stared-eyed David Caruso
SpookyCupcakes writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 6:34:05 PM

This list is why I don't watch television
triggax writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 6:39:19 PM

Very much agreed ^^^ I f*cking hate television, except for HBO... But thats not television, its HBO.
SpookyCupcakes writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 8:20:57 PM

A f*ckING MEN TRIGGAX

HBO should be the only thing on tv, the tv should be called "The hbo box"
ValiaVeweth writes:
on November 11th, 2009 at 11:01:59 PM

Steve Carell and Hugh Laurie are the only two who deserve to be on that list. Everyone else kinda sucks. Kiefer Sutherland is a bad ass so he kinda deserves to be there. But definitely NOT David Caruso. Ugh.
seveltoto writes:
on November 11th, 2017 at 3:00:28 AM


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