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It’s a well-known fact that TV shows get more expensive over time, often because those involved with popular shows end up making more in salary as a show ages. This is especially true for the stars of major TV programs like Grey’s Anatomy, which is moving forward on ABC for Season 13 this coming fall. Series lead Ellen Pompeo recently worked out a new deal on the series, signing on for Season 13. As it turns out, she’s also one of the highest paid actresses on television.
When Ellen Pompeo signed a contract for Season 13, reports also explained what the Grey’s Anatomy actress makes per episode: $300,000. That’s not quite as high as the leads on a few other big TV shows. We know, for instance, that The Big Bang Theory leads make $1 million per episode—the same legendary number the cast of Friends got back in the day. Still $300,000 per episode is not too shabby, especially once you consider that Grey’s Anatomy produces well over the typical 22 episodes a network TV show generally gets. During Season 12, for instance, Grey’s Anatomy produced 24 episodes. And 24 times Ellen Pompeo’s salary is a whopping $7,200,000.
We’ve known for a while that Ellen Pompeo does quite well thanks to acting on Grey’s Anatomy. She routinely lands on the list of highest paid TV actresses, a list that also includes Sofia Vergara, Kaley Cuoco, Julie Bowen, Mariska Hargitay, Julianna Margulies, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling and more big names. A 2015 report indicated she raked in $11.5 million in earnings, thanks to high-end TV contracts and money earned from the syndication of her long-running TV series. That’s right, if you star in a popular TV series, you also earn additional payouts from syndication and even DVD sales. Therefore, Ellen Pompeo should be raking in the cash from Grey’s Anatomy long after the ABC drama is off of the air.
For now, though, the series will continue to produce new episodes. In fact, Grey’s Anatomy has shown no signs of slowing down—much less stopping—in the time since McDreamy was killed off of the series. Variety notes that ratings were actually steady in Season 12, but that steadiness helped the show to become ABC’s most top-rated program of the night for the 2015-2016 TV season. It’s no wonder the network worked to secure a new deal with Pompeo.
Unfortunately, it will still be some time before the veteran drama returns to the schedule. ABC has already announced Grey’s Anatomy will be part of the network’s fall lineup on Thursday nights. For now, you can see what the network has coming up this summer with our TV premiere schedule.