Judge Judy Sheindlin Beats Ellen, Dr Phil on 2018 List of Highest-Paid TV Hosts

Daytime TV judge earned $147 million last year

Judge Judy Sheindlin
Valerie Macon/Getty Images

Judge Judy Sheindlin easily topped Forbes’ list of the highest-paid daytime TV hosts for 2018.

Thanks to a lucrative deal that sold the rights to the thousands of episodes of her long-running courtroom show, Sheindlin took in an estimated $147 million pretax in the 12 months preceding June 2018, Forbes said.

That number is more than triple the $47 million she takes in annually as host of “Judge Judy” and producer of “Hot Bench,” and marks the first time Sheindlin has ever topped Forbes’ list.

Sheindlin bested Ellen DeGeneres, who came in second with an estimated $87.5 million during the same period thanks to her own eponymous talk show and a variety of other hosting and producing gigs, including her return to stand-up for an upcoming Netflix special.

In third was Dr. Phil McGraw, who earned $77.5 million across his “Dr. Phil” talk show and executive producer credits on the primetime CBS drama “The Bull,” the syndicated daytime show “The Doctors” and “Daily Mail TV.”

Rounding out the top five are Ryan Seacrest, who made $74 million adding “American Idol” back into his schedule last year, and Steve Harvey, who earned $44 million.