Highest Paid Reality Show Stars
Whatever your stance on reality shows, whether you had a couple of guilty pleasures during their prime heyday or were completely addicted, you’ve probably noticed their slow retreat into specialized networks like Oxygen, MTV and The Food Network. Punchy sitcoms and well-crafted dramas are back and dominating ratings, whether they’re network, cable or streaming-based shows.
There was a time, however, when all the major networks forced their own brand of reality on viewers and forgot all about sitcoms and dramas. In honor of that over-saturated reality show era, The Life Elite brings you the highest paid reality show stars.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi
Snooki lost weight, become a mom and release three books. While she doesn’t spend her days getting drunk and punched at bars anymore, the new Nicole once made a pretty penny to be less-than civil and classy in front of millions of people. She made $150,000 per Jersey Show episode and $175,000 per Snookie and Jwoww episode!
She’s the highest paid “real housewife,” earning $1 million per season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. But perhaps even more notable is the fact that she’s become a legitimate actor, with stints on Glee, Modern Family and The View. She was also a Dancing With the Stars contestant and is rumored to have joined The Fashion Police.
The original snarky judge earns an estimated $95 million per year, making him the highest paid talent show judge. Of course, in all fairness, that income doesn’t just come from judging alone. He spearheaded American Idol, The X Factor and America’s Got Talent. It’s safe to say there would be a hole in reality talent competitions if Simon Cowell chose to stay in the music industry.
It should be no surprise that the Kardashians top the list of highest paid, drama-laden reality show family on TV. Their record-breaking contract is reportedly $40 million. And let’s not forget the perfumes, books, fame, high-profile nuptials and other financially lucrative endeavors that are a direct result of the show’s success.