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Who Earns What: TV's Highest Paid Stars

Mariah Carey; Matt Lauer | Photo Credits: Fadel Senna/AFP/GettyImages; Larry Busacca/Getty Images

If Norma Desmond from Sunset Boulevard worked as a TV actress today, her famous line would be: “I am big. It’s the paychecks that got small.”

Networks and studios have continued to take a hard line on holding down salaries, based on TV Guide Magazine‘s annual survey drawn from conversations with agents, network executives and studio heads. Rare is the lead actor who can enter a new series earning more than $125,000 an episode. The exceptions are those with a ratings track rec­ord of having a major hit show (Matthew Perry) or a significant career in feature films (Kevin Bacon).

Premium cable networks such as…

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