Daytime TV may be where ambulance chasers thrive and brains go to die, but all that brain rot is keeping one high priestess of the courtroom at the top of Uncle Sam’s collection fund. RuPaul’s favorite Judge Judy Sheindlin has made a career for herself barking orders at idiots who need to go on TV to settle disputes over stupid shit like last month’s cable bill (yes, I would totally go on it if my roommate so much as stiffed me for a coffee). The screaming has paid off because Judge Judy is the top-earning TV personality by a huuuuuuge margin. Oprah, who?
Forbes says it’s Judge Judy’s first year as the highest-paid overall TV personality earning – I hope you’re sitting down – $147 MILLION last year. That’s a helluva lot of gavels. Judy told the magazine last year how much she loves her job…no shit:
“Many people, as I did in the beginning, get stuck with a job they don’t really like. … If you’re not doing something that you love to do, find something that you love to do, because it will make your whole life different.”
Judy gets $47 million for her show and producing Hot Bench, another courtroom show. The rest of her whopper earnings come from the $100 million she made by selling CBS the rights to all 5,200 episodes of her show. It doesn’t stop there. The sale made Judy the 48th-richest self-made woman in the U.S., with a net worth of roughly $400 million. Because Judge Judy loves dragging dummies (and loves the money that comes with it), she will probably extend her contract, which is supposed to end in two years.
The rest of the top 5 for TV personalities come from daytime TV, include Ellen DeGeneres ($87.5 million), Dr. Phil($77.5 million), Ryan Seacrest ($74 million), and Steve Harvey ($44 million). Next year’s list ought to be rich (teehee) with Megyn Kelly being a top-earning TV personality without having to set foot on TV!