Every year, Forbes releases their annual highest-paid reports, and while these lists are fairly predictable, once in a while, we get a surprise. Like, a huge surprise. And it appears this year is one of those years because, according to Forbes, the highest-paid TV host of 2018 was none other than Judge Judy (also known as Judy Sheindlin).
Sheindlin netted a cool $147 million thanks to her sale of the 5,200-episode Judge Judy library, her hosting of current episodes and her production credits on Hot Bench — a nontraditional panel-based court show. But that’s not all. Her 2018 earnings didn’t just secure her the highest-paid TV host honor. According to Forbes, Sheindlin is now the 48th-richest self-made woman in America, with a net worth of $400 million.
That said, Sheindlin has appeared on Forbes’ list before. In 2016 and 2017, she came in fourth. However, this is her first time topping the list.
As for the other spots, things were consistent with what you might expect. Ellen DeGeneres came in second… for the third year in a row. The television personality made $87.5 million thanks to her award-winning show and the sale her Netflix comedy special, Relatable, which is slated to premiere on Dec. 18. Last year’s top earner, Dr. Phil McGraw, took the third spot, raking in $77.5 million for his behind-the-scenes work on Bull, The Doctors and DailyMailTV, and Ryan Seacrest and Steve Harvey rounded out the top five (with $74 million and $44 million, respectively).
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) November 28, 2018
Noticeably absent from the top five this year was media mogul Simon Cowell. Cowell secured the fifth spot last year thanks to his numerous judging gigs on Britain’s Got Talent, America’s Got Talent and The X-Factor.
Kudos to those who made the esteemed list. It looks like Judge Judy’s daytime domination isn’t slowing down anytime soon.