Reese Witherspoon


The highest paid actors on TV are earning more than ever, according to a Variety report on the industry's top salaries.

The news outlet commissioned the report to particularly examine the impact of a new California law that prohibits employers from asking prospective workers how much money they made at their previous jobs.

That effective killed the "quote" system, where an actor was offered a salary based on salary history. Now, pay is being set by the actor's importance to the script than name recognition. One source told Variety that the new law had caused salaries to rise for actresses of color.

Also driving up salaries are deep-pocketed tech companies like Apple and Amazon, which are throwing money at major stars. Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston are getting paid $1.1 million per episode for an upcoming Apple drama about morning show anchors. And Javier Bardem topped the salary list at $1.2 million per episode for an untitled Amazon series about 16th century explorer Hernan Cortes.

Here's the list of TV's top 10 earners:

  1. Javier Bardem, $1.2 million for an untitled Amazon series
  2. 2. Reese Witherspoon, $1.1 million for untitled Apple series
  3. Jennifer Aniston, $1.1 million for untitled Apple series
  4. Norman Reedus, $1 million for AMC's "The Walking Dead"
  5. Elisabeth Moss, $1 million for Hulu's "The Handmaid’s Tale"
  6. Julia Roberts, $600,000 for Amazon's "Homecoming"
  7. Steve Carell, $600,000 for untitled Apple series
  8. Kelly Clarkson, $560,000 for NBC's "The Voice"
  9. Kevin Hart, $500,000 for CBS' "TKO" from MGM
    Sean Penn, $500,00 for Hulu's "The First"
  10. Anthony Mackie, $475,000 for Netflix's "Altered Carbon"