How Much Money Do Idol Judges Make?

How Much Money Do Idol Judges Make? Now we have some figures on the ever-burning question that our good friend Deena asks whenever she watches Idol, “How much do them Idol judges make?”. Well, actually, we only have the figures for Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul and these are likely to change depending on the judges’ (particularly Paula’s) negotiating skills.

From LA Times: “Last year, former Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe told Australia’s Courier Mail that the show’s trademark tough judge, Simon Cowell, earns $36 million each season (not including income from his involvement with Idol grads’ records). Cowell’s contract expires after next season, and he has been making noise that he might move on. Sources close to the show say Abdul earns a fraction of Cowell’s figure, pegging it at around $2 million.”

That’s a very big discrepancy, eh? Not that she needs more money but methinks Paula needs a raise as she does provide a lot of entertainment value.

Not surprisingly, Simon Cowell is listed by Forbes Magazine as the Top Earning TV Star. Among female TV talents, Supermodel/Producer/TV-Host Tyra Banks tops the list.

Top Earning TV Stars: Simon Cowell and Tyra Banks
12 November 2009

Move over Charlie Sheen, you may be the highest paid television actor but Simon Cowell and Tyra Banks got more money than you. Here’s the list of highest earning prime time TV stars in 2009 according to the list-makers of Forbes Magazine.

The full list of Top 10 male earners on U.S. prime time TV
1. Simon Cowell ($75 million)
2. Donald Trump ($50 million)
3. Ryan Seacrest ($38 million)
4. Charlie Sheen ($21 million
5. Steve Carell ($21 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)

Top 10 female earners on U.S. prime time TV
1. Tyra Banks ($30 million)
2. Katherine Heigl ($18 million)
3. Marg Helgenberger ($9.5 million)
4. Eva Longoria Parker ($9 million)
5. Mariska Hargitay ($8.5 million)
6. Julia Louis-Dreyfus (tie) ($8 million)
6. Maura Tierney (tie) ($8 million)
8. Tina Fey ($7 million)
9. Marcia Cross ($6.2 million)
10. Jennifer Love Hewitt (tie) ($6 million)
10. Ellen Pompeo (tie) ($6 million)

As with any list generated by them peeps of Forbes Magazine, let’s take this list with a grain of salt. Where are the other “TV stars” like Ellen Degeneres, David Letterman, etc. etc? Seems like Forbes limited their definition of “TV stars” to only include actors/actresses and those with reality shows?

How Much Money Do Idol Judges Make? Posted 8 May 2009.