David Letterman is going to make $2 million per episode of his new Netflix show.
That is...so much money. That's enough to buy a million Taco Bell crunchy taco supremes. That's so many tacos. It's also almost as much as his Late Show replacement Stephen Colbert, who is racking in $15 million a year, according to Variety's new report of TV salaries. Letterman is getting $12 million for his six-episode commitment deal with the streaming giant.
Letterman and Colbert aren't even on the top of the list though. In the drama category, Robert DeNiro is taking home top prize with $750,000 per episode of his upcoming Amazon project with director David O. Russell. That's a quarter million more than the leading cast of Game of Thrones, who bring in $500 thousand per episode of the epic. The Thrones cast also comes in below Mark Harmon, who is cashing $525,000 checks for every episode of NCIS. There are worse ways to make a living, like all of the ways everyone reading this has to make a living.
On the comedy side, it's no surprise to see the cast of The Big Bang Theory raking in a whopping $900,000 per episode. That's actually a pay cut for series stars Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar who used to make $1 million per episode before taking the cut to bring co-stars Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch up to half a million per episode. But don't worry, at around 22 episodes per season, they'll be just fine. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson comes in after The Big Bang crew with a $650,000 per episode salary for Ballers on HBO. The Modern Familycast comes in third with half a million each. That's twice as much as what the stars of the Will & Grace revival are making this fall.
However, the person to really be jealous of is Ellen DeGeneres. The talk show host is bringing in a whopping $50 million a year for her talk show. She tops Judge Judy ($47 million) and Matt Lauer ($25 million). The shocking thing about Variety's reality list is that Katy Perry jumps up to tie Lauer in third place with her controversial American Idolcontract. Her judging salary for the rebooted singing competition puts her above the likes of Kelly Ripa ($22 million), Megyn Kelly ($18 million) and former Idol host Ryan Seacrest ($15 million).
It's a mind boggling set of figures. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to console myself by eating a few of those tacos and dream about a life where I'm best friends with Ellen.