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Oprah's the highest paid TV star

art and culture Updated: Jul 26, 2007 14:14 IST
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Talk might be cheap, but Oprah is not, topping a list of the highest-paid television stars in the United States.

Oprah Winfrey, host and supervising producer of The Oprah Winfrey Show, earns an estimated $260 million a year, according to a list in TV Guide magazine's July 23 issue.

Music producer Simon Cowell, the blunt and often contentious British judge of "American Idol," placed a distant second to Winfrey, with $45 million for his role on the Fox network's smash hit talent show and other projects.

Courtroom chief Judge Judy (Judith Sheindlin), CBS News anchor Katie Couric and "Scrubs" actor Zach Braff round out the top five.

The list breaks down star salaries by category -- prime-time TV, daytime, cable and news with a partial listing below:

TOP FIVE (all salaries are per year)

1. Oprah Winfrey (The Oprah Winfrey Show): $260 million

2. Simon Cowell (American Idol): $45 million

3. Judge Sheindlin (Judge Judy): $30 million

4. Katie Couric (CBS Evening News Anchor): $15 million

5. Zach Braff (Scrubs): $6.3 million