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Sofia Vergara is top-paid TV actor (by far)

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Sofia Vergara has played Gloria on Modern Family since 2009

Modern Family star Sofia Vergara is the best-paid actor on US TV, earning $16m (£12.4m) more than her nearest rival, according to Forbes magazine.

Vergara earned $42.5m (£33m) in 2017-18, Forbes said – far ahead of the top-earning man, The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons, who is on $26.5m (£20.5m).

Overall, the top 10 men still earned more than the top 10 women, but the gap has closed since last year.

The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family actors make up 13 of the 20 names.

Five of the six next best-paid on-screen stars behind Vergara are in The Big Bang Theory.

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The five main cast members of The Big Bang Theory earned $124.5m last year between them

As well as Parsons, who plays Sheldon in the CBS sitcom, there is Johnny Galecki, who plays Leonard, Kaley Cuoco (Penny), Kunal Nayyar (Raj) and Simon Helberg (Howard), who earned between $23.5m (£18.2m) and $25m (£19.4m) each.

But their pay has dropped since last year’s list after they reportedly took pay cuts in order to give co-stars Mayim Bialik (Amy) and Melissa Rauch (Bernadette) pay rises.

As a result, that pair are now on the list of the 10 best-paid actresses for the first time, on $12m (£9.3m)each.

However all those bumper pay packets won’t last for much longer – The Big Bang Theory will end next year.

Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo was also near the top, on $23.5m (£18.2m) – a rise of $10m since last year after she reportedly signed a new contract with ABC.

The Forbes figures include sponsorship and licensing deals as well as TV show salaries.

Sofia Vergara’s total counts her tie-ups with coffee maker SharkNinja Coffee and furniture chain Rooms To Go, the magazine said. She is top for the seventh year in a row.

Best-paid actresses on US TV
1. Sofia Vergara Modern Family $42.5m
2. Kaley Cuoco The Big Bang Theory $24.5m
3. Ellen Pompeo Grey’s Anatomy $23.5m
4. Mariska Hargitay Law & Order: Special Victims Unit $13m
5. Julie Bowen Modern Family $12.5m
=6. Mayim Bialik The Big Bang Theory $12m
=6. Melissa Rauch The Big Bang Theory $12m
8. Kerry Washington Scandal $11m
9. Claire Danes Homeland $9m
10. Pauley Perrette NCIS $8.5m

The top 10 women earned a combined $168.5m (£130.6m) between 1 June 2017 and 1 June 2018, according to Forbes – up from $156.5 (£121.3m) in the previous 12 months.

Meanwhile, the total for the top 10 men was $181m (£140.3m) in 2017-18, down from $185m (£143m) the previous year.

British star Andrew Lincoln, who made his name in BBC drama This Life in the 1990s, has joined the list of the top 10 men after earning an estimated $11m (£8.5m) for The Walking Dead.

Kevin Spacey has dropped out of the list after being written out of House of Cards following sexual assault allegations.

Best-paid actors on US TV
1. Jim Parsons The Big Bang Theory $26.5m
2. Johnny Galecki The Big Bang Theory $25m
=3. Kunal Nayyar The Big Bang Theory $23.5m
=3. Simon Helberg The Big Bang Theory $23.5m
5. Mark Harmon NCIS $19m
6. Ed O’Neill Modern Family $14m
7. Eric Stonestreet Modern Family $13.5m
8. Jesse Tyler Ferguson Modern Family $13m
9. Ty Burrell Modern Family $12m
10. Andrew Lincoln The Walking Dead $11m

Source: Forbes

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