Modern Family star Sofia Vergara has again topped the list of the highest-paid actresses on TV, taking home a mammoth $US41.5 million in the last financial year.
But only a quarter of her eye-watering income comes from her day job on the beloved sitcom — most of the money comes thanks to her prolific licensing and endorsement deals.
This is the sixth year in a row that Vergara has topped the annual Forbes list of the highest-paid actresses in television — and she’s far out in front of her nearest rival, Kaley Cuoco, sitting pretty at number two with earnings of $US 26 million.
Forbes reports that more than half of Vergara’s income comes from her many licensing and endorsement deals for products including Head & Shoulders, CoverGirl and Pepsi. Vergara now focuses her efforts on more lucrative licensing deals, rather than straightforward endorsements. These deals include three perfumes she produces in partnership with Avon, a furniture line with Rooms To Go and a coffee machine she co-designed with SharkNinja.
The appeal of a licensing deal rather than an endorsement? Vergara has more control over the product she’s selling — and a bigger stake in its sales.
“Our endorsement department is a well-oiled machine,” Vergara’s longtime business manager Luis Balaguer told Forbes.
“Even now, our attention is on the people watching Modern Family and how to appeal to them outside of the show, too.”
Vergara’s incredible business savvy is shown when compared to her closest TV competitor, Kaley Cuoco: The Big Bang Theory star takes home almost $US 1 million per episode for her role in the long-running sitcom — more than double Vergara’s Modern Family pay cheque. Cuoco, however, doesn’t have anywhere near as many ad and licensing deals.
Vergara earned almost four times as much as her Modern Family co-star Julie Bowen, who pocketed $US 12 million last financial year to land sixth on the list.
Here’s the full Forbes list of this year’s highest paid TV actresses:
1. Sofia Vergara — $41.5 million
2. Kaley Cuoco — $26 million
3. Mindy Kaling — $13 million
3. Ellen Pompeo — $13 million
5. Mariska Hargitay — $12.5 million
6. Julie Bowen — $12 million
7. Kerry Washington — $11 million
8. Priyanka Chopra — $10 million
9. Robin Wright — $9 million
10. Pauley Perrette — $8.5 million