BySean Gallen, writer at Creators.co
The pen is mightier than the sword but is ultimately useless in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Filmmaker, filmlover, MP staff writer.
Sean Gallen

When Variety dropped their highest paid TV actors list for this year a lot of jaws dropped at some of the surprises that popped up. The steady success of The Big Bang Theory (now almost in its tenth season) has translated into big money for its stars Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki, who reign supreme as the highest paid comedy actors.

Check out Sheldon's (Jim Parson) acceptance speech for this glorious achievement:

Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham beat out Hollywood legend Kevin Spacey for the highest paid drama actors thanks to the big Gilmore Girls reunion. The biggest surprise of all is Judy Sheindlin who has been telling fools what's what and laying down the law of the gavel on Judge Judy since 1996. Her earnings for this season were estimated at a staggering $47 million, beating out Ellen DeGeneres and Kelly Ripa by a long shot. *Gavel hits the block*. Court is in session, let's take a closer look at the highest paid actors on TV after the jump.

See also:

5 Highest Paid Actors In Comedy

1. Jim Parsons

'The Big Bang Theory' / CBS
'The Big Bang Theory' / CBS

  • Net worth: $70 million
  • Earnings per episode: $1 million
  • Age: 43
  • Projects in 2016: The Big Bang Theory
  • Upcoming projects: Hidden Figures

2. Kaley Cuoco

'The Big Bang Theory' / CBS
'The Big Bang Theory' / CBS

  • Net worth: $51 million
  • Earnings per episode: $1 million
  • Age: 30
  • Projects in 2016: The Big Bang Theory
  • Upcoming projects: Handsome

3. Johnny Galecki

'The Big Bang Theory' / CBS
'The Big Bang Theory' / CBS

  • Net worth: $50 million
  • Earnings per episode: $1 million
  • Age: 41
  • Projects in 2016: The Big Bang Theory, The Master Cleanse
  • Upcoming projects: Rings

4. Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson

'Ballers' / HBO
'Ballers' / HBO

  • Net worth: $64.5 million
  • Earnings per episode: $400,000
  • Age: 44
  • Projects in 2016: Central Intelligence, Ballers, Moana
  • Upcoming projects: Fast 8, Baywatch, Journey 3: From the Earth to the Moon, Jumanji

5. Drew Barrymore

'Whip It' / Mandate
'Whip It' / Mandate

  • Net worth: $125 million
  • Earnings per episode: $350,000
  • Age: 41
  • Projects in 2016: How to be Single, Freak Show
  • Upcoming projects: Santa Clarita Diet, Blooms

5 Highest Paid Actors In Drama

1. Lauren Graham

'Gilmore Girls' / The WB
'Gilmore Girls' / The WB
  • Net worth: $15 million
  • Earnings per episode: $750,000
  • Age: 49
  • Projects in 2016: Gilmore Girls, Joshy, Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
  • Upcoming projects: TBA

2. Alexis Bledel

'Gilmore Girls' / The WB
'Gilmore Girls' / The WB
  • Net worth: $5 million
  • Earnings per episode: $750,000
  • Age: 35
  • Projects in 2016: Gilmore Girls
  • Upcoming projects: TBA

3. Mark Harmon

'NCIS' / CBS
'NCIS' / CBS
  • Net worth: $40 million
  • Earnings per episode: $525,000
  • Age: 65
  • Projects in 2016: NCIS
  • Upcoming projects: TBA

4. Kevin Spacey

'House of Cards' / Netflix
'House of Cards' / Netflix
  • Net worth: $80 million
  • Earnings per episode: $500,000
  • Age: 57
  • Projects in 2016: House of Cards, Billionaire Boys Club
  • Upcoming projects: Baby Driver, Rebel in the Rye

5. Peter Dinklage

'Game of Thrones' / HBO
'Game of Thrones' / HBO

  • Net worth: $10 million
  • Earnings per episode: $500,000
  • Age: 47
  • Projects in 2016: Game of Thrones, The Boss, The Angry Birds Movie
  • Upcoming projects: The Three Christs of Ypsilanti, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

5 Highest Paid Actors In Reality TV/Talk Shows

1. Judy Sheindlin

'Judge Judy' / Worldvision
'Judge Judy' / Worldvision

  • Net worth: $290 million
  • Earnings per season: $47 million
  • Age: 73
  • Projects in 2016: Judge Judy
  • Upcoming projects: TBA

2. Matt Lauer

'The Today Show'  / Matt Lauer
'The Today Show' / Matt Lauer

  • Net worth: $60 million
  • Earnings per season: $22 million
  • Age: 58
  • Projects in 2016: The Today Show, Zoolander 2
  • Upcoming projects: TBA

3. Ellen DeGeneres

'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' / A Very Good Production
'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' / A Very Good Production

  • Net worth: $330 million
  • Earnings per season: $20 million
  • Age: 58
  • Projects in 2016: The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Finding Dory
  • Upcoming projects: TBA

4. Bill O'Reilly

'The O'Reilly Factor' / Fox
'The O'Reilly Factor' / Fox
  • Net worth: $85 million
  • Earnings per season: $20 million
  • Age: 67
  • Projects in 2016: The O'Reilly Factor, Killing Reagan
  • Upcoming projects: TBA

5. Kelly Ripa

'Live With Kelly' / ABC
'Live With Kelly' / ABC
  • Net worth: $100 million
  • Earnings per season: $20 million
  • Age: 46
  • Projects in 2016: Live with Kelly
  • Upcoming projects: TBA

Did anyone on the list surprise you?