Ever Wondered How Much Actors Really Earn For Their Reruns?
Actors and actresses make millions, but some choose to do TV shows instead, which doesn't bring in as big of a paycheck. However, television series offers a consistent, steady flow of income that continues even after the show ends. Royalties are payments made when a TV show or film airs as a rerun, appears on video or DVD, and is sold to syndications.
Some celebrities can rake in millions as the years go by, thanks to residuals from the reruns of their TV shows. Some get more than others, and some don't get any at all.
Kelsey Grammer - Frasier
Frasier was one of the top comedy shows in America, and it ran from 1993 until 2004. Kelsey Grammer played Frasier Crane for more than twenty years. The character originally started on the series Cheers before becoming a spin-off show.
The story follows Frasier and his family in his hometown of Seattle. While filming the show, Grammer was paid around $1.6 million per episode, and he continues to get paid from the show today. He makes about thirteen million dollars a year on reruns.
Ray Romano - Everybody Loves Raymond
Everybody Loves Raymond is an Emmy-winning comedy series that ran from 1996 until 2005. It was one of the most watched series in the United States, and the reruns are continuously aired today.
Ray Romano is the star of Everybody Loves Raymond and is one of the wealthiest Emmy-award-winning actors of all time. Ray earns about eighteen million dollars a year from the show's residuals. He is not only the star of the show but he was also the co-creator of the series.
Bob Saget - Full House
Full House is a popular series that follows a single dad raising three young daughters with the help of his brother-in-law and a friend. Bob Saget played the role of Danny Tanner, the single father.
He earned the highest income from residuals compared to the rest of the cast in the series. However, he only made about two thousand dollars a year from the reruns, and sadly Bob Saget passed away, so his income now goes to his wife.
George Clooney - ER
The television series ER aired for fifteen years and was the original hospital series. George Clooney was the original McDreamy, and he stole the hearts of women all over the world. Since appearing on ER, Clooney has been one of the highest-paid actors in the world.
He played the role of Dr. Doug Ross for five seasons, and he now makes thirteen million dollars per year in residuals. The show ended up being the breakout role for Clooney, and it opened the doors to other major roles and many awards.
Jerry Seinfeld - Seinfeld
Seinfeld is a television series that aired for nine seasons and is about a stand-up comedian in New York City and his quirky group of friends. Jerry Seinfeld played himself in the series and was also the co-creator together with Larry David.
The series ended in 1998, but Seinfeld has earned about nine million dollars since in residuals. He will continue to earn about one hundred and ten million dollars per year.
Hank Azaria - The Simpsons
The Simpsons has aired for thirty-three seasons and is an animated comedy series that is about a family in Springfield. The family includes Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and baby Maggie.
Hank Azaria is one of the long-time Simpsons members and has actually voiced several characters, including Apu, Moe Szyslak, and Chief Wiggum. Azaria now makes about three hundred thousand dollars a year from the show's reruns.
Jim Parsons - The Big Bang Theory
The Big Bang Theory aired for twelve seasons and is about seven characters, including Sheldon, Amy, Penny, Howard, Bernadette, Leonard, and Raj. Jim Parsons plays the role of Sheldon Cooper, a physicist at Caltech in California, and he is an eccentric genius.
The show made Parsons a household name and won him several awards. Jim was earning nine hundred thousand dollars per episode and now earns roughly ten million dollars per year from various reruns.
Alan Alda - M*A*S*H
M*A*S*H is a television series that aired for eleven seasons and is about doctors and nurses in the US Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War. It was unlike any TV series of its time, and its success was based mostly on its ability to bring humor to a rather depressing subject – war.
Alan Alda played the role of the leading man and Chief Surgeon, and he was able to captivate audiences very quickly. He started earning about ten thousand dollars per episode and eventually was making two hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars per episode. Today, he earns about one million dollars a year from the show's residuals.
Ed O'Neill - Married With Children
Married with Children is a television series that aired for eleven seasons and is about the Bundys. Ed O'Neill plays the role of Al, the patriarch, misogynistic shoe salesman.
Ed gained a lot of popularity playing Al Bundy, as his character was a mainstay in the living room of many American families. Ed O'Neill makes at least ten million dollars a year from the Married with Children reruns.
Maureen McCormick - The Brady Bunch
The Brady Bunch was a very popular series in the 1970s that ran for five seasons. It revolves around a blended family of a dad with three sons and a mom with three daughters that become one family.
Maureen McCormick plays the role of Marcia Brady, the oldest of the three girls. The Brady Bunch was one of the most popular series of all time. However, Maureen makes absolutely nothing from the show's reruns.
Betty White - The Golden Girls
The Golden Girls series was a show about four older women who live together in a house in Miami Beach. The show aired for seven seasons and was very much ahead of its time. The beloved Betty White played the role of Rose and won an Emmy Award for her performance in the series.
Betty was considered to have had the longest TV career of any entertainer, and she was receiving about three million dollars a year from the show's reruns. Sadly, Betty White died just a few weeks before turning one hundred years old.
David Schwimmer - Friends
Friends is an extremely popular series about six friends, Monica, Phoebe, Rachel, Joey, Ross, and Chandler, who live in the same apartment complex. David Schwimmer plays the role of Ross, and by the end, all of the cast members were making one million dollars per episode.
Today, David is still making about twenty million dollars per year from the show's reruns. It has been reported that the show Friends generates one billion a year.
Ted Danson - Cheers
Cheers is one of the biggest shows to ever grace our screens, running for eleven seasons. The majority of the show takes place in a bar and revolves around a group of locals. Ted Danson plays the lead character Sam Malone, which skyrocketed his career.
He went on to star in Bored To Death, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The Good Place. However, he still receives about five million dollars yearly from the show's reruns.
David Hyde Pierce - Frasier
Frasier was a spin-off series from the show Cheers. It continues the story of Frasier Crane as he reconnects with his father and younger brother. David Hyde Pierce played the role of Dr. Niles Crane, Frasier's younger brother and also a psychiatrist.
He won four Emmys for his performance on the show in a supporting role. He has earned about forty million dollars so far from the show's residuals.
Jennifer Aniston - Friends
Friends is one of the most popular shows, and that is thanks to the cast, which includes Jennifer Aniston. She is probably the most successful actor from the show, starring in many movies.
Aniston plays the role of Rachel in the series, which is considered to be her breakout role. She has a net worth of about two hundred and forty million dollars, plus she earns at least twenty million dollars yearly from the show's reruns.
David Caruso - CSI
CSI is a popular series about a Florida team of forensics investigators that use cutting-edge scientific methods and old-fashioned police work to solve crimes. It is a true crime television series that aired for ten seasons.
David Caruso played the lead role, Detective Horatio Caine, one of the most popular characters in the franchise. Caruso is earning about one hundred thousand dollars a year from the show's residuals.
David Hasselhoff - Baywatch
Baywatch was a cultural phenomenon that aired for eleven seasons. The popular show is about lifeguards who patrol the beaches of Los Angeles. David Hasselhoff plays the character of Mitch and was nicknamed 'The Hoff.'
He set a Guinness Book record as the most watched man on TV, as he starred in several hit series and movies. Today, he is estimated to be receiving about four million dollars a year from the show's reruns.
Mark Harmon - NCIS
NCIS is a criminal investigative drama that still airs to this day. The show is about a group of investigators investigating crimes. Mark Harmon plays Special Agent Jethro Gibbs, a serious, no-nonsense head of investigators that solves crimes.
Harmon earns about five hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars per episode, earning about twenty million dollars every year. In addition, he has earned about sixty million dollars total from the show's reruns.
Alex Borstein - Family Guy
Family Guy is an animated series about the Griffin family and debuted in 1999. The series has been airing for eighteen seasons and is still going strong. Alex Borstein is the voice of Lois Griffin, the long-suffering wife of Peter Griffin.
She earns two hundred and twenty-five thousand per episode. Alex received a Primetime Emmy Award for her role as Lois in The Family Guy. She also earns about ten million dollars a year from the show's reruns.
Jon Cryer - Two And A Half Men
Two and a Half Men is a television series that aired for twelve seasons. The story follows a jingle writer and his brother Alan and Alan's son. The series faced tremendous criticism and was mocked by critics.
Jon Cryer plays the brother, Alan, who goes through a tough divorce and becomes a single father to Jake. Cryer was earning about six hundred and twenty thousand dollars per episode, and he has earned twenty million dollars so far from the show's residuals.
Johnny Galecki - The Big Bang Theory
The Big Bang Theory television series aired for twelve seasons and originally centered on five characters living in California. Over time more characters were added, but Leonard Hofstadter was one of the originals and is played by Johnny Galecki. Leonard is a physicist at Caltech and shares an apartment with Sheldon.
Johnny played the character for twelve years and, in the beginning, was making about sixty thousand dollars per episode. By the end of the season, he was making almost one million dollars per episode, and he still makes about ten million dollars yearly from the show's reruns.
Dr. Phil, aka Philip McGraw, is a sociologist and psychologist who was first discovered on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Oprah then gave him his own talk show, Dr. Phil.
His show covers a wide range of stuff and has been on the air for seventeen years. It is still going strong today, and McGraw has a net worth of almost four hundred million dollars. Part of that is from the ten million dollars he earns a year just from the show's reruns.
Topher Grace- That 70's Show
That 70's Show aired from 1998 until 2006 and is about six teenage friends in Wisconsin. Topher Grace plays the popular Eric Forman, a nice but geeky and clumsy teen. His character has many misadventures with his friends and has an unusual relationship with his parents.
Topher made about two hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars per episode, and although there isn't a specific amount of what he makes from the show's reruns, he did say it helped augment his income.
Henry Winkler - Happy Days
Happy Days is a television series that aired for eleven seasons and was one of the most successful series of the 1970s. The story presented an idealized vision of life in the 1950s and 1960s in the Midwestern United States.
Henry Winkler plays the role of Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli, or Fonzie, who is seen as the epitome of cool and a sex symbol. Henry had to actually sue the network for residual payments, and when a settlement was reached years later, he and his co-stars each received sixty-five thousand dollars.
Ricky Gervais - The Office
The Office UK is a series created, written, and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. It follows the everyday lives of office employees in the Slough branch of a paper company.
Gervais stars in the show as David Brent, the central character and general manager of the branch. He has a net worth of ninety million dollars but still receives up to one million dollars per year from the show's reruns.
Bob Denver - Gilligan's Island
Gilligan's Island is a series that aired for three seasons and is about a group of seven people who shipwrecked on an uncharted island. Audiences love the show for its clean humor. Bob Denver played the role of Gilligan in the series and its several sequels.
Gilligan is a dimwitted, accident-prone, and bumbling first mate of the SS Minnow. Bob Denver and the cast have received about ninety million dollars in residual payments since the show ended in 1967. Bob Denver passed away in 2005, so all of his income goes to his estate.
Tim Allen - Home Improvement
Home Improvement is a series based on Tim Taylor, the host of the home-improvement show "Tool Time." It was one of the most watched sitcoms in the US and is responsible for launching Tim Allen's acting career.
Tim Allen plays the popular Tim Taylor, husband to Jill and father of Mark, Randy, and Brad. Since the final episode in 1999, Allen has received a total of eighteen million dollars from the show's reruns.
Charlie Sheen - Two And A Half Men
Two and a Half Men is a television series that aired for twelve seasons, with its last episode airing in 2015. Charlie Sheen played the role of Charlie Harper for eight seasons, but Sheen's erratic behavior resulted in him getting fired from the show.
Ashton Kutcher replaced him on the show, and it continued to air for another four seasons. Luckily for Sheen, getting fired didn't affect his rights to residual income. So far, he has received twenty million dollars in total from the show's reruns.
Lucille Ball - I Love Lucy
I Love Lucy is a sitcom that aired for six seasons and starred Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. The story is about Lucy Ricardo, a young housewife living in New York City. She often came up with crazy plans with her best friend.
The whole idea of receiving income from reruns and residual payments actually started with Lucille Ball and her husband, Desi Arnaz. The couple ended up earning more than thirty years worth of residual payments because they owned the rights to the show. They ended up receiving up to seventeen million dollars a year from the show's reruns.
Nancy Cartwright - The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an animated sitcom that has aired for thirty-three seasons and is still going strong today. It is the longest-running animated comedy in television history. Nancy Cartwright provides the voice of Bart Simpson, the son of Homer and one of the main characters.
Cartwright has dominated the voiceover market since the 1980s. She earns four hundred thousand dollars for every new episode and receives up to twenty million dollars a year from the show's reruns.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Seinfeld
Seinfeld is a sitcom series that aired for nine seasons and follows four single friends in New York City. Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays the role of Elaine Benes, Jerry's ex-girlfriend and later friend. She is sarcastic, friendly, and unorganized, and she tends to be too honest with people.
Elaine was Julia's most iconic character, but she was never given any share of the show's royalties. She will only ever receive SAG-AFTRA residuals and a portion of the DVD sales. However, when the show was in production, Julia made almost one million dollars for every new episode towards the end.
Lisa Kudrow - Friends
Friends is one of the most popular television series, and it aired for ten seasons. The show stars Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, Courteney Cox, and David Schwimmer. The group plays friends on the show but are also great friends in real life.
Lisa Kudrow plays Phoebe Buffay, a masseuse and musician who is noted for her offbeat and ditzy behavior. Kudrow made one million dollars per new episode, and today, she receives up to twenty million dollars a year from the show's reruns.
Carol Burnett - The Carol Burnett Show
The Carol Burnett Show was the first of its kind, and it featured Burnett as the main actress and comedian. She got her own show because she is one of the funniest women who ever lived and even had a Golden Globe named after her.
Even though many still watch the show, forty years later, Burnett doesn't make very much from the reruns. Carol only received one cent for every DVD sold and earns even less for each episode aired.
Eve Plumb - The Brady Bunch
The Brady Bunch is a television series that aired for five seasons and revolved around the trials and tribulations of a blended family. The family included a dad and his three sons and a mom and her three daughters.
The show actually became one of the most popular TV series in syndication and wasn't critically acclaimed at the time. Eve Plumb plays the role of Jan Brady, the middle daughter, who is very jealous of her older sister, Marcia. Unfortunately, the cast does not receive any compensation for reruns.
John Goodman - Roseanne
Roseanne is a sitcom that aired for ten seasons and stars Roseanne Barr and John Goodman. John Goodman plays Roseanne's husband in the series, and his character is entertaining, funny, and sweet.
Goodman also stars in the reboot, but that didn't have anywhere near the success as the original. Goodman receives one million a year in residuals from the original Roseanne series.
Leonardo DiCaprio - Titanic
Titanic is not a series; it is a mega-popular film from 1991. It's not just television shows that earn an actor residual payments. Titanic was, of course, about the real Titanic ship that sank on April 15, 1912.
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jack, a poor man who falls in love with a first-class passenger. The movie shot DiCaprio to stardom, and he has received three hundred million dollars in residuals from the movie's reruns.
Seth MacFarlane - Family Guy
Family Guy is an adult animated sitcom that is about the Griffin family, which consists of parents Peter and Lois and their children, Meg, Chris, and Stewie. The sitcom has been airing for eighteen seasons and is still going today.
Seth MacFarlane is the show's creator and is the voice of Peter Griffin. Seth's series earns up to four hundred thousand per year and is worth two billion in total.
Chad Michael Murray - One Tree Hill
One Tree Hill is a drama series that aired for nine seasons and is about two half-brothers and their romances and a group of friends. Chad Michael Murray plays the main character, Lucas Scott, a talented basketball player, and writer.
Lucas has been an extremely popular character among teenagers and young adults. The show is still airing reruns, which means that Murray receives residuals. Murray receives up to one hundred thousand dollars a year from the show's reruns.
Kristen Bell - The Good Place
The Good Place is a television series that aired for four seasons, and it follows Eleanor after she dies and goes to the good place, a Heaven-like utopia. Kristen Bell stars in the series as the main character, Eleanor Shellstrop.
It is an award-winning show and was one of the most popular shows on NBC. In fact, Netflix and Hulu fought to put it on their streaming networks. Even though the show was very popular, NBC owns the rights, meaning that none of the stars have received money from the show's reruns.
Sam Waterston - Law & Order
Law & Order is one of the most-watched shows on television, and it aired for twenty seasons. The series is about the investigation of a crime, the suspect, and the prosecution by the District Attorney's Office. Sam Waterston helped make the show so successful, playing the role of Jack McCoy.
His character is the Executive Assistant District Attorney, and he is an unconventional and ruthless attorney. His performance earned him a Golden Globe Award, and he still receives up to five thousand dollars a year from the show's reruns.
Amy Poehler - Parks And Recreation
Parks and Recreation is a political satire mockumentary sitcom that aired for seven seasons. Current events were incorporated into the episodes, and the show received mixed reviews from critics. However, it won several awards, and in 2012, Time named it the number one television series of that year.
Amy Poehler played the main role of Leslie Knope, and she was the one that stole the show. She earned two hundred thousand dollars for every episode, but she has received little to no residuals from the show since it ended.
Patrick Stewart - Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: The Next Generation is a science fiction television series that aired for seven seasons. It is the third series in the Star Trek franchise and is set in the twenty-fourth century. The story follows the adventures of the USS Enterprise and its exploration of the Milky Way galaxy.
Patrick Stewart plays Jean Luc Picard, and even though the cast all put a lot of time into the shows, conventions, and merchandising, they never received any residual payments from the series.
Tom Kenny - Spongebob Squarepants
SpongeBob SquarePants is an animated comedy television series that has aired for thirteen seasons and is still going strong today. The story is about SpongeBob and his friends in Bikini Bottom.
Tom Kenny has been the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants since the show first began. Kenny and his co-stars receive up to eleven million dollars a year from the show's reruns.
Sarah Michelle Gellar - Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a supernatural drama series that aired for seven seasons. The story revolves around Buffy Summers, the vampire slayer. The series was successful and received many nominations and awards.
Sarah Michelle Gellar plays Buffy, and she receives about one million dollars a year in residual income from the show. Sadly, Gellar hasn't starred in many shows or films since starring in the series.
Sofia Vergara - Modern Family
Modern Family is a family sitcom series that aired for eleven seasons, ending in 2020. The story follows the lives of three diverse families in suburban Los Angeles. The series was acclaimed by critics and received several nominations and awards, including the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series.
Sofia Vergara plays Gloria Maria Ramirez Delgado Pritchett, Manny and Joe's mother and Jay's second wife. Sofia earns five hundred thousand dollars a year from the show's reruns, and that amount will likely increase in the future.
Tom Selleck - Magnum, P.I.
Magnum, P.I. is a crime drama series that aired for eight seasons, ending in 1988. It was one of the most popular TV shows in the 1980s and is still popular today. Tom Selleck plays Thomas Magnum, a private investigator in Hawaii.
Even though the show was successful and ran for many seasons, Selleck has never received a single penny from the show's reruns. It is because of the kind of contract he signed when the show started.
Shelly Long - Cheers
Cheers is a television series that aired for eleven seasons. The show wasn't successful right away and was actually almost canceled after the first season.
Thankfully, it was given another chance and went on to become a big hit and generated an insane amount of money from the reruns. Shelly Long plays Diane Chambers in the series, and she receives five million dollars a year from the show's reruns.
Hugh Laurie - House
House is a medical drama television series that aired for eight seasons. The show is about an unconventional, misanthropic medical genius that leads a team in solving the most puzzling cases.
Hugh Laurie plays the main character, Dr. Gregory House, and his performance earned him worldwide fame. It was the most watched series in 2008 but sadly ended in 2012. Laurie still receives one million dollars a year in residuals.
Ellen Pompeo - Grey's Anatomy
Grey's Anatomy is the longest-running medical drama on television and has been on the air for seventeen seasons. The series is still going strong, and it revolves around the lives of surgical interns, residents, and attendings.
Ellen Pompeo plays the popular Meredith Grey and has earned a Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance. Ellen earns five hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars per episode, and she receives up to twenty million dollars a year from the reruns.