Television’s 10 Highest Earning Actresses

Combined, these ten women earned a total of $94 million between May 2010 and May 2011. Not too shabby for these television stars. Sure, some of their female colleagues who work exclusively in movies make more money, but starring in a television has its perks. First, it’s a regular gig and you don’t have to worry about other actresses beating you out on the next gig. Also, you have geographical stability which is nice when raising a family. And lastly, you don’t always have to play the damsel-in-distress since the roles on the small screen are usually better written than ones on the big screen.

Sadly, four of these ladies will now longer have their cushy jobs after this television season. With “Desperate Housewives” leaving the air, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher and Eva Longoria will know what it’s like to be unemployed. Don’t feel too sorry for them since syndication deals will keep their bank accounts padded for several years to come. They won’t be “desperate” anytime soon.

So, who made Forbes’ Top 10 Television list? Well, four of them are from “Desperate Housewives”, but one of them ranks higher then her co-stars due to lucrative endorsement deals. The remaining six ladies all come from network television and none from cable. HBO and Showtime may give prestige and acclaim but apparently not the dough. Check out the list below.

Tina Fey

  • ($13 million) – Funny apparently pays.

Eva Longoria

  • ($13 million) – I’m going to miss my weekly fix of Gabrielle Solis.

Marcia Cross

  • ($10 million) – Who knew Melrose’s Kimberly Shaw would one day be on this list?

Mariska Hargitay

  • ($10 million) – Since Christopher Meloni is gone, Mariska gets top billing and more cash. SCORE.

Marg Helgenberger

  • ($10 million) – With Ted Danson joining this year, Marg is already on her third male co-star. Consistency certainly pays.

Teri Hatcher

  • ($9 million) – Hopefully her post-Housewives career will do better than her ill-fated GetHatched.com advice website.

Felicity Huffman

  • ($9 million) – I wonder if she’ll pursue more movie roles after DH. She was so good in “Transamerica”.

Courteney Cox

  • ($7 million) – The only “Friend” to have a successful post-television career.

Ellen Pompeo

  • ($7 million) – Without this Grey, there wouldn’t be much of a “Grey’s Anatomy”.

Julianna Margulies

  • ($6 million) – Being the “Good Wife” pays her bills, her telephone bills, and her automo’bills.

Not a surprising group of ladies if you ask me. That being said, it’s interesting to see only two ladies make the list from half-hour sitcoms (Fey & Cox). With exception to Longoria who’s 36-years-old, all the actresses are a bit more seasoned. What’s a twenty-something girl need to break into the list?

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  • Aqua

    ugh i knew it the desperate Slutwives would be on the list.. Shi*ty Tramps