In the world of peak TV, big-name actors have started to head from movies to television, and as we reported earlier this year, they're pulling giant salaries in the medium. Variety's survey of the highest-paid actors on TV reinforces the notion that top talent is getting paid a whole lot more than everyone else, but more interestingly, it shows that a lot of those top earners are women, partially because TV has become a haven for actresses. Claire Danes, for instance, gets roughly $450,000 an episode five seasons into Homeland, but nowadays, some actresses are getting close to as much in their shows' first seasons. Emma Stone and Drew Barrymore are each earning about $350,000 per episode for upcoming Netflix projects, while Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman are both getting approximately the same deal on HBO's Big Little Lies. A-list actor salaries on pay cable and streaming are equally inflated — Dwayne Johnson gets about $400,000 an episode on Ballers, Kevin Spacey gets approximately $500,000 an episode on House of Cards, Jonah Hill and Joel Kinnaman get roughly $350,000 an episode for their new Netflix projects. So are the payouts on major hits — the leads of Game of Thrones all get about $500,000 an episode. But one pair tops them all: Gilmore Girls' Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel are getting about $750,000 for each episode of the Netflix revival (which, granted, so far consists of only four episodes). That's just slightly less than the $1 million per episode payouts of The Big Bang Theory's leads, which are the highest in Variety's report. Of course, if you divide the Gilmore sum by the number of words per episode, it's really not that big.
Most Watched on Vulture
Most Viewed Stories
Shia LaBeouf Is Doing a 4-Year-Long Anti-Trump Livestream Event
Madonna to Women’s March Detractors: ‘F*ck You’
Channing Tatum’s Leaked Email Is Glorious
Kristen Stewart Looks Back on Trump's Tweets About Her Robert Pattinson Split: He Was ‘Really Obsessed With Me'
Let’s Talk About the Ending of Split
Celebrities React to Trump’s Inauguration, and Aside From Scott Baio, They’re Mostly Upset
Stephen Colbert Reviews Trump's Inaugural Speech on Late Show: ‘Like Lincoln Huffing Paint Thinner’
Vulture’s Final Oscar-Nomination Predictions
The Founder Is an Acerbic, Uncomfortably Timely Bite of McDonald’s History
The Good Place Pulled Off a Forking Great Twist Ending
Latest News from VultureSundance: At the Women's March, Jessica Williams Was the Leader We Were Looking For
"I am my ancestors' dream," she told the crowd.Paul Scheer Nails Why Being a New Parent Ruins Your Best Friendships
"You're just awash with people you wouldn't even want to have dinner with."Is This the Most Politically Relevant Film at Sundance?
A uniquely relevant movie for our time.The Cast of The Little Hours Sets the Bar High for Awkward Crotch Sniffing
A new low or a new high?We Asked Rashida Jones About Her First Concert Which She Described As "Magic"
The King of Pop delivered.Madonna to Women’s March Detractors: ‘F*ck You’
She expressed herself.Celebs Turn Out for Women's March and Show Support on Social Media
Jessica Chastain, Zendaya, and Charlize Theron are among the protesters.Lin-Manuel Miranda Releases 8 Hamilton Demos So You Can Experience the Boundless Energy of Hamilton With Miranda Playing Every Part
A masterwork in progress.Scarlett Johansson at Women's March on Washington: 'Don't Let the Feelings of Helplessness Make You Complacent'
"Don't give up your power."Ashley Judd Performs 'I Am a Nasty Woman' Poem at Women's March on Washington
"I feel Hitler in these streets, a mustache traded for a toupee."
A showdown's a-coming.Protesters Channel Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher at Women's March
Taking cues from a rebel icon.Rachel Platten Calls Out The Piano Guys for Playing 'Fight Song' at Trump Inaugural Ball Without Permission
"Fight Song" was Hillary Clinton's campaign song.Jimmy Kimmel Pledges to Keep Taking Truth to Power By Gleefully Mocking President Trump
"I ... do solemnly swear to faithfully satirize, criticize, lampoon, and harpoon the president of the United States."T.I. Urges the Oppressed to Mount a Stronger Resistance in New Open Letter
"Everything cannot be blamed on THE SYSTEM."Jessica Williams' Wonderful Response When Asked if She Misses The Daily Show
NPR and the spa, please.The One Thing Michael Showalter Says Every Romantic Comedy Needs
It's simple, really.Stephen Colbert Reviews Trump's Inaugural Speech on Late Show: ‘Like Lincoln Huffing Paint Thinner’
President of the United States of American CarnageKristen Stewart Makes a Mysterious Splash at Sundance With Her Directorial Debut
What was it about? Well ...Witchblade Is Not Quite a Witch and Not Quite a Blade, But to Answer Your Question, It Might Be a TV Reboot
Witchblade is sort of a blade, but it is also a bracelet that is an alien.