Talk show host Chelsea Handler is one of the most overpaid stars on TV, while Ashton Kutcher is one of the most underpaid, according to a new survey.
The Los Angeles Times calculated how much several popular TV personalities are paid per viewer by dividing their annual salaries by the average number of viewers for each star’s show as a way of determining who’s overpaid (and underpaid) for their services.
Handler is one of the most overpaid stars, banking 16.70 dollars per viewer as host of Chelsea Lately, thanks to her 12-million-dollar salary and the show’s 0.7 million viewers, the New York Post reported.
Anderson Cooper and David Letterman are also overpaid, based on the LA Times’ calculations. Cooper makes 13.54 dollars per viewer for his work on Anderson Cooper: 360 (6-million-dollar salary, 0.4 million viewers), while Letterman makes 9.69 dollars for each one of his 3.2 million viewers due to his 31-million-dollar salary, a figure The Times notes is partly due to his longtime success in late night.
Perhaps the most overpaid personality, though, is the now-off-TV Keith Olbermann, who was paid a whopping 56
dollars per viewer for his Current TV gig, due to his 10-million-dollar salary.
Meanwhile, Ashton Kutcher, Ryan Seacrest and Christina Aguilera are among the most underpaid stars despite their massive salaries, due to the popularity of their various shows, the LA Times concludes.
Kutcher makes 17 million dollars a year for his work on Two and a Half Men, but the show’s 14.7 million viewers bumps his pay per viewer down to 1.16 dollars.
Seacrest only earns 0.75 dollar per viewer as host of American Idol despite his 15-million-dollar salary and the show’s 20 million plus viewers.
Former Idol judge Jennifer Lopez only made 0.63 dollar per viewer with her 12.5 million dollars contract.
And her Voice counterpart Christina Aguilera earned less (0.17 dollar per viewer with her 2.1-million-dollar salary and the show’s 12.7 million viewers).
The LA Times’ salary figures are based on interviews with talent agency reps, managers and network officials as well as published reports.