TV's Highest-Paid Actors and Actresses: Who's the Best Value?

Nathan Fillion Castle Ellen Pompeo Grey's Anatomy

They may be on the small screen, but there’s nothing small about their paychecks: The Big Bang Theory‘s Jim Parsons and Modern Family‘s Sofia Vergara top this year’s list of the highest-paid actors and actresses on TV.

The annual list, compiled by Forbes magazine, tracks earnings from June 2015 to June 2016 and adds in each actor’s endorsements along with their per-episode salaries. That explains why Vergara leads all TV actors, male or female, with a whopping $43 million, thanks to lucrative ad campaigns (like Head & Shoulders shampoo) and licensing deals. Parsons’ Big Bang co-star Kaley Cuoco lands in second place among actresses, with $24.5 million; she, along with castmates Parsons and Johnny Galecki, earns a cool $1 million per episode.

Joining the actress list for the first time this year are Quantico‘s Priyanka Chopra (No. 8, with $11 million); Castle‘s Stana Katic (No. 7, $12 million), for her work on the final season of ABC’s detective drama; and Veep‘s Julia Louis-Dreyfus (tied for No. 13, $7.5 million), who boasts an Old Navy ad campaign along with her shelf full of Emmys.

Here’s the full list of the top-paid TV actresses:

1. Sofia Vergara, Modern Family — $43 million
2. Kaley Cuoco, The Big Bang Theory — $24.5 million
3. Mindy Kaling, The Mindy Project — $15 million
4. (tie) Ellen Pompeo, Grey’s Anatomy — $14.5 million
4. (tie) Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU — $14.5 million
6. Kerry Washington, Scandal — $13.5 million
7. Stana Katic, Castle — $12 million
8. Priyanka Chopra, Quantico — $11 million
9. Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife — $10.5 million
10. Julie Bowen, Modern Family — $10 million
11. Pauley Perrette, NCIS — $9.5 million
12. Patricia Heaton, The Middle — $8.5 million
13. (tie) Emily Deschanel, Bones — $7.5 million
13. (tie) Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep — $7.5 million
15. Zooey Deschanel, New Girl — $7 million

On the men’s side, Parsons is joined by fellow Big Bangers Galecki ($24 million), Simon Helberg ($22.5 million) and Kunal Nayyar ($22 million) in the top four spots. Newcomers to this list include The X-Files‘ David Duchovny and former NCIS-er Michael Weatherly (both tied for No. 13, with $10 million); Katic’s Castle partner Nathan Fillion (tied for No. 7, $12 million); and Grey’s Anatomy stalwart Justin Chambers (No. 15), who was rewarded for surviving 12-plus seasons of soapy bloodshed with $9.5 million. Way to go, Alex!

The oddest name on this list, though, has to be Ray Romano (tied for No. 7, $12 million), who, yes, did co-star on HBO’s short-lived Vinyl earlier this year. But the bulk of Romano’s earnings actually came from syndicated Everybody Loves Raymond reruns and his stand-up comedy gigs.

Here’s the full list of TV’s top-earning actors:

1. Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory — $24.5 million
2. Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory — $24 million
3. Simon Helberg, The Big Bang Theory — $22.5 million
4. Kunal Nayyar, The Big Bang Theory — $22 million
5. Mark Harmon, NCIS — $20 million
6. Ty Burrell, Modern Family — $12.5 million
7. (tie) Nathan Fillion, Castle — $12 million
7. (tie) Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family — $12 million
7. (tie) Ray Romano, Vinyl — $12 million
10. Ed O’Neill, Modern Family — $11.5 million
11. Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family — $11 million
12. Kevin Spacey, House of Cards — $10.5 million
13. (tie) Michael Weatherly, NCIS — $10 million
13. (tie) David Duchovny, The X-Files/Aquarius — $10 million
15. Justin Chambers, Grey’s Anatomy — $9.5 million

Which actors on these lists earn every single penny they get? Hit the comments and tell us which TV stars represent the best value.