Openly LGBT stars among top-earning TV talent in America

Jim Parsons & Ellen DeGeneres

Jim Parsons & Ellen DeGeneres

It pays to be funny! Openly gay The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons is the top earning comedy television actor in the US.

He is tied in first place with fellow co-stars Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki, with all three each earning $1 million an episode for their work on the sitcom.

Their salaries were revealed in Variety magazine’s latest overview of the earning power of American TV talent in various genres.

Also included in the comedy list is out actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who earns $250,000 per episode for starring in Modern Family.

When it comes to reality, news or show hosts, Ellen DeGeneres is listed as the third highest paid, with a $20 million salary per year. She’s beaten by Judge Judy’s Judy Sheindlin ($47 million) and Today’s Matt Lauer ($22 – $25 million), in first and second place.

Bisexual singer and actress Miley Cyrus is set to take home $13 – $15 million as one of the coaches on the latest season of The Voice.

LGBT news stars are also top earners, such as Anderson Cooper ($9-11 million) and Rachel Maddow ($7 million), while Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen scores $4-5 million.

It’s in the drama genre that LGBT talent is less financially successful. In that field, only Wentworth Miller in 30th place ($175,000 per episode of the Prison Break sequel series) and Jussie Smollett at no 51 ($20,000 per episode of Empire) are featured.

Variety notes that the incomes listed for the stars exclude additional money that they may earn from other projects, licensing and merchandising, and business ventures.

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