Can you guess which sci-fi and fantasy TV stars bring home the most cash?
If you were thinking of vampires, you're right. The highest-paid genre stars on TV right now, according to an annual salaries report published by TV Guide, are Stephen Moyer, Anna Paquin and Alexander Skarsgard of True Blood. Each actor earns $275,000 per episode for the HBO vampire series, which is now headed for a seventh season. That's a very nice paycheck, though it pales in comparison to the reported highest-paid star's salary: the $525,000 per episode (plus a percentage of the show's profits) Mark Harmon takes home for the CBS procedural NCIS.
Finishing second on the genre star payscale behind the True Blood trio is Hannibal's Laurence Fishburne, who picks up $175,000 per episode. He's followed closely by Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey of Game of Thrones, who each earn $150,000 per episode. On the lower end of the list, Gillian Anderson reportedly earns $100,000 per episode for her guest-starring appearances on Hannibal, while Clark Gregg will reportedly take home $75,000 per episode for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Rounding out the list of highest-paid stars are Andrew Lincoln, who reportedly brings home $70,000 for each episode of The Walking Dead, and Tatiana Maslany, who earns $50,000 per episode for Orphan Black.
On the comedy front, there aren't really any hard genre contenders, but there are the professional geeks of The Big Bang Theory. According to TV Guide's report, stars Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki and Jim Parson all earn $325,000 per episode for the series, eclipsing even the True Blood gang, while co-star Mayim Bialik takes home $50,000 per episode.
The TV Guide list is certainly not a comprehensive look at every major TV star's salary, but it does give us a good idea of where the real money is in genre television right now. To see the full report, which also includes late-night and news personalities, pick up the current issue of TV Guide, on newsstands now.
What do you think? Do these salaries all seem right? Which genre stars are overpaid, and who deserves a raise?
(Via TV Guide)