Judge Judy rules as highest-earning TV host

Judy Sheindlin, star of reality court show Judge Judy, is the highest-earning television host this year, with takings of $202 million.
Judy Sheindlin, star of reality court show Judge Judy, is the highest-earning television host this year, with takings of $202 million.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/ JUDGE JUDY

NEW YORK • The verdict is in.

According to Forbes, Judy Sheindlin, star of reality court show Judge Judy, is the highest-earning TV host this year with US$147 million (S$202 million).

The former family-court judge won a unanimous decision from the magazine as No. 1 after she sold the rights to her show's 5,200-episode library, as well as future episodes, for about US$100 million last year.

Her bank balance was further inflated by the US$47 million she nets a year for hosting Judge Judy and producing Hot Bench, a television show whose format lies in a three-judge panel taking on cases.

Ellen DeGeneres would have been No. 1 if not for Sheindlin's US$100-million windfall.

The host of the popular The Ellen DeGeneres Show pulled in US$87.5 million, boosted by a US$20-million deal with Netflix for an upcoming stand-up special.

At No. 3 is Dr Phil McGraw, host of talk show Dr Phil, who took home US$77.5 million.

Ryan Seacrest, with stints on Live With Kelly And Ryan plus American Idol, is at No. 4, with US$74 million.

Steve Harvey holds the No. 5 spot, pocketing US$44 million as the host of shows such as Family Feud, Miss Universe and Little Big Shots.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2018, with the headline 'Judge Judy rules as highest-earning TV host'. Print Edition | Subscribe