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.