Top 10 Highest Paid American TV Actors

Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Highest Paid American TV Actors 2017. Being a TV actor is hard work. You have to learn your lines, spend hours on set, and make promotional appearances. But along with that hard work is a big payday if your TV show becomes popular. Being a successful television actor is indeed hard work, but it’s also extremely lucrative. And when I say extremely lucrative I mean EXTREMELY lucrative. In fact, some of the guys on this list make a million dollars per episode. So who are the highest paid American TV actors? Well, one show in particular dominates this list with 4 of American Televisions highest paid actors. Let’s get into the countdown with this television veteran that after a long hiatus, burst back onto the scene in a major way.

List of Top 10 Highest Paid American TV Actors 2017

10. Ed O’Neill ($11.5 million)

Ed O'Neill Top 10 Highest Paid American TV Actors 2017

Ed O’Neil became a household name in the late 1980s and 90s for his role of Al Bundy on the hit television show “Married… with Children” The show lasted 10 years and ran 260 episodes before it’s finale in 1997. After the conclusion of “Married… with Children” the veteran actor took on several smaller roles but none compared to his previous success. Things took a turn when he landed the role of Jay Pritchett on the ABC network sitcom “Modern Family” in 2009. The show is heading into its 8th season and is a huge success by all standards. The show has won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards amongst a host of other accolades. Ed O’Neil has been nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards and won four Screen Actors Guild Awards for his work on the show. Propelling him to one of the highest paid American TV actors.

9. Ray Romano ($12 million)


Best known for his portrayal of the character Raymond on the breakout sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond”, Ray Romano is no stranger to being a successful television actor. He’s also no stranger to being one of television’s top earners. In 2004 he became the highest paid television actor in history for his role on “Everybody Loves Raymond”. And although Everybody Loves Raymond aired it’s final episode in 2005 it continues to earn Ray Romano huge paychecks. In fact, Romano cracked the top 10 of television’s top earners this year thanks to a combination of his role of Zak Yankovich on HBO’s new show “Vinyl” and royalty checks from “Everybody Loves Raymond” which is in syndication across the country.

8. Jesse Tyler Ferguson ($12 million)

Jesse Tyler Ferguson Top Most Highest Paid American TV Actors 2017

Ferguson’s earnings are from his role on hit ABC comedy “Modern Family”, and by starring in a one-man Broadway show titled “Fully Committed”. With syndication rights to Modern Family being sold to the USA Network, Fox, and the CW, Ferguson should be swimming in money for years to come.

7. Nathan Fillion ($12 million)

Nathan Fillion Top 10 Highest Paid American TV Actors

His show “Castle” might have been canceled, but that Didn’t stop Nathan Fillion from raking in some huge paychecks. The show is currently in syndication on the TNT network where they broadcast old episodes nearly every day. For his role of Richard Castle on the show “Castle”, Nathan Fillion has won a host of awards including a TV Guide Award for Favorite TV Couple (with Stana Katic) and a People’s Choice Award for Favorite TV Drama Actor. He’s also won and been nominated for a host of other awards for his role on the show. Next up for Fillion is an appearance on the show “Modern Family” where he will play a character cleverly named Rainor Shine.

6. Ty Burrell ($12.5 million)


Another star of the hit ABC show “Modern Family”, Ty Barrell is a veteran TV actor that has appeared in numerous hit TV shows which include “Law & Order”, “The West Wing” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”. In 2011 and 2014 Burrell won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as family patriarch Phil Dunphy on “Modern Family.”

5. Mark Harmon ($20 million)

Mark Harmon Top Popular Highest Paid American TV Actors 2019

What will being the star of television’s most watched scripted drama for the 2015-2016 television season get you? How about a whopping $20 million payday! In his role of Special Agent Gibbs on “NCIS” Mark Harmon draws you into the story like no other actor on Television. Harmon has played the role since 2003, and with the show being renewed for it’s 14th and 15th season earlier this year we expect to see him commanding the role for at least the next couple of years.

4. Kunal Nayyar ($22 million)

Kunal Nayyar Top Famous Highest Paid American TV Actors 2019

Remember earlier when I said one TV show dominates this list with 4 of America’s highest paid TV actors making the list? Well, that show is “The Big Bang Theory” and Kunal Nayyar is coming in at number 4. Since 2007 Nayyar has played the role of quirky character “Raj” on the CBS comedy “The Big Bang Theory.” He’s only one of four characters to appear in every episode. The Big Bang Theory just premiered it’s 10th season on September 19th, 2016 and is a huge success both in America and the United Kingdom where it has broken several ratings records.

3. Simon Helberg ($22.5 million)


Most recognizable for his role as Howard Wolowitz on “The Big Bang Theory” Helberg experienced big screen success in this year’s critically acclaimed biographical comedy-drama “Florence Foster Jenkins”. The movie was great, but nothing has earned him financial success like his role on The Big Bang Theory. That’s the reason why he’s number 3 on this list of Top 10 Highest Paid American TV Actors 2017.

2. Johnny Galecki ($24 million)

Johnny Galecki Popular Highest Paid American TV Actors 2018

This actor got his first big break on 90’s sitcom “Rosanne” playing the role of David. The role was recurring but Galecki was more of a supporting character than a star of the show. Well, things have definitely changed. In 2007 Galecki took the role of Dr. Leonard Hofstadter in CBS sitcom “The Big Bang Theory”, a role that has earned him numerous awards. Outside of The Big Bang Theory Galecki is doing some movie acting. In 2017 he is set to star in the horror film “Rings”. It is the 3rd installment of the “Ring” franchise. Which includes “The Ring” and “The Ring Two”.

1. Jim Parsons ($25.5 million)

Jim Parsons Top Most Popular Highest Paid American TV Actors 2018

For the second year in a row, Jim Parsons is once again American television’s highest paid actor! His portrayal of quirky theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper on “The Big Bang Theory” is must see TV. He has received several awards for his performance including four Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series Musical or Comedy. When it boils down to it Parsons’ delivers big laughs to viewers, so producers deliver big checks to his bank account. Job well done.

These are the Top 10 Highest Paid American TV Actors 2017. American television has produced a vast amount of outstanding television shows. It has also produced a vast amount of wealth. The people on this list are truly excelling at their craft, and it’s definitely paying off. The best part about it all as you can see from the examples of Ray Romano and Nathan Fillion is that the checks don’t stop coming in after the final episode airs. If your show was a hit, and it gets picked up for syndication you’ve essentially landed a goldmine that will generate wealth for many years to come.