Two Sitcom Stars Tie for Highest-Paid TV Actress of 2015

March 18, 2015 – 11:55 am
Nollywood Actor Chris Nkulor They say laughter is the best medicine ... to cure an ailing bank account. Funny ladies took several spots on Forbes' list of the world's highest-paid TV actresses. Two sitcom stars tied for the top honor: Sofia Vergara of "Modern Family, " who topped the list for the fourth consecutive year, and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting of "The Big Bang Theory, " who topped for the first time.

For both stars, the combination of sitcom contracts and lucrative endorsement deals put them over the top, with earnings of $28.5 million (pretax) from June 1, 2014 to June 1, 2015.

Here are the top 15 highest-paid TV actresses, according to Forbes:

1. Sofia Vergara - $28.5 million
1. Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting - $28.5 million
3. Julie Bowen - $12 million
4. Ellen Pompeo - $11.5 million
5. Mariska Hargitay - $11 million
6. Julianna Margulies - $10.5 million
6. Amy Poehler - $10.5 million
8. Mindy Kaling - $9 million
9. Patricia Heaton - $7 million
9. Kerry Washington - $7 million
11. Tina Fey - $6.5 million
11. Emily Deschanel - $6.5 million
13. Pauley Perrette - $6 million
14. Robin Wright - $5.5 million
15. Zooey Deschanel - $5 million

As you can see, "Modern Family" star Julie Bowen was just below Sofia and Kaley, although with less than half of their overall earnings. Most of the actresses are network TV stars, although good for Robin Wright - of Netflix's "House of Cards" - for sneaking her way onto the list.

However, on a less positive note, there isn't much racial diversity here. As Forbes noted, "Vergara, Kaling, and Scandal star Kerry Washington, who made $7 million, are the only minority actresses to make the ranking. UCLA's annual report on diversity in film and TV found that among broadcast comedy and drama leads, minorities were underrepresented by a factor of 7 to 1, while cable shows underrepresented minorities by more than 2 to 1."

And Forbes also noted that there is still a gap between the highest paid actresses and the highest paid actors:

While the salaries of the actresses on this list are undeniably substantial, TV stars still experience a significant pay gap when compared to their male counterparts. The cut-off to be on this year's list of top-paid TV actors was $9.5 million—$4.5 million more than that for TV actresses—as we continue to see actors out-earning actresses and landing the lead role more often. As with racial diversity, this underrepresentation of females is found across the entertainment industry and in all aspects of development."

Maybe no one ever told Hollywood that more than half of the people in the world are women. Oh well, $4.5 million is still a lot more than we'll see this year, so congrats to all the list-makers.


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