A lot of television shows go off-air after a few seasons, but some get to star in long-running shows that are adored by all. Celebs earn a lot of money while the show is in production, but if they make negotiations to earn backend royalties, they earn millions of dollars every year. These royalties are made when television shows and movies air as reruns or are sold to streaming platforms for viewing. Actors receive a stipend each year that can last them a lifetime. Many celebrities continue to expand their filmography for the love of acting and star in different shows and movies.
Sitcoms like Friends, The Sopranos, Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond had dominated television during their time. The new generation is introducing themselves to shows through online streaming platforms and television. These reruns rake the stars of the show millions of dollars from these viewers. Let’s take a look at the ten celebrities who earn millions of dollars as backend royalties from their shows.
10 Jennifer Aniston
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Along with Jennifer Aniston, her co-stars Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox, and David Schwimmer became stars together on the hit television sitcom Friends. Knowing the ever-present popularity of the show, the entire case negotiated backend royalties in 2000, and they earned $10 to $20 million per year while the show generated $1 billion in television syndication, as noted by Go Banking Rates.
9 Jerry Seinfield
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The richest comedian in the world, Jerry Seinfield, has a different earning in royalties compared to his castmates. While his co-stars earned straight salaries during Seinfield, Jerry Seinfield and the show’s co-creator Larry David owned the backend equity, and he earns around $30 to $40 million each year in royalties.
8 Ray Romano
Emmy award winner Ray Romano makes most of his annual earnings from the television syndication of his hit TV show Everybody Loves Raymond. The show ended in 2005 after a nine-season run on CBS. Romano earns $18 million each year in royalties, as stated by Yahoo Finance.
7 Kelsey Grammer
Star of the comedy sitcom Frasier, Kelsey Grammer, has amassed an $80 million net worth throughout his acting career. Grammar earned a straight salary, reportedly $38 million per season when the show caught the highest ratings. Now, Grammer earns $13 million in royalties every year.
6 Edie Falco
One of the best shows ever made, HBO’s The Sopranos, has had a big influence on popular culture in television history. After the show ended in 1999, Edie Falco walked away with a deal that earned her $26 million each year in television reruns of the hit show.
5 Betty White
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The biggest TV icon of all time, Betty White, has a television career that spans over 80 years. Her accomplishments are unmatched, from her movie roles to her curious but naive character in the television show The Golden Girls. According to Living A Lot, White has earned $8 million every year in royalties for The Golden Girls since the show went off the air in 1992.
4 David Hasselhoff
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As the star of the lifeguard drama Baywatch, David Hasselhoff was the most-watched man on television. Hasselhoff’s character as the well-built bodyguard Mitch Buchannon was loved by all. Baywatch was on air for 11 seasons, and its popularity earns him $4 million per year in royalties.
3 George Clooney
George Clooney got a kickstart to his career from the medical drama ER, where he played Dr. Doug Ross. While Clooney already has a $500 million net worth, he steadily earns $13 million per year as television syndication for his role on the television show.
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2 Ted Danson
Owner and bartender Sam Malone became an iconic character in television since Cheers was aired. Ted Danson, who played the iconic character, was shot to fame from his role, which earned him an $80 million net worth. His 80s comedy show earns him $5 million per year from television reruns and syndications, as noted by Audacy.
1 Jim Parsons
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Cast in the television show The Big Bang Theory as Dr. Sheldon Lee Cooper, Jim Parsons rose to fame as the quirky physicist. His character was adored by fans and brought nerd culture to the mainstream with the show. The show ran for 12 seasons since it first aired on CBS in 2007. Since the eighth season, Parsons earned $1 million per episode for the show. Since the show ended in 2019, he has been making $10 million every year for the reruns.
Key roles on successful sitcoms have raked millions of dollars for celebrities, and they will keep earning residual checks as long as the production houses air the reruns. From comedy sitcoms to medical dramas, these shows have created an ever-lasting legacy that will continue to live on for generations to come.
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Sources: Go Banking Rates, Yahoo Finance, Living A Lot, Audacy
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