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Judge Judy is TV’s highest paid host – ANITH
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Judge Judy is TV’s highest paid host

Judge Judy is TV’s highest paid host

Case dismissed: Judge Judy is TV’s highest paid host.

Image: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Real cases, real people, real money.

Judge Judy is officially the highest paid host on TV, raking in a whopping $147 million last year.

Judy Sheindlin, the formidable host of the courtroom show, is sitting in the top spot of a new Forbes list, which ranks television’s highest earners.

Sheindlin’s staggering haul reportedly comes down to her $47 million fee for hosting Judge Judy, which has been nailing it since 1996 and averages a casual 10 million daily viewers, and producing her other courtroom talk show, Hot Bench, with her company Queen Bee Productions.

But the rest comes from some savvy wheeling and dealing. According to Forbes, she sold the rights to Judge Judy’s 5,200-strong episode library to CBS for a cheeky $100 million, along with all future episodes. All that brings Sheindlin to a casual net worth of $400 million. 

To determine the rankings, Forbes estimated earnings from June 1, 2017 to June 1, 2018, based on data from Nielsen, IMDB, and Box Office Mojo. All the numbers are before tax, and have not accounted for extra deductions like agent fees.

So, who else is on the list? The top five, like Sheindlin, are all daytime TV hosts, enjoying that sweet, sweet audience of freelancers, students, stay-at-home parents, and retirees. Ellen DeGeneres comes in second place with earnings of $87.5 million, thanks to her wildly popular show Ellen, but also producing fees and smart licensing deals with the likes of PetSmart.

In third place is perpetual advice-giver Dr. Phil McGraw with $77.5 million, followed by multi-hat-wearing host and Keeping Up with the Kardashians producer Ryan Seacrest at $47 million, and Family Feud‘s Steve Harvey with $44 million.

It sure pays to be on daytime TV.

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Anith Gopal
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