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The Average Salary of TV Judges

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Beginning with "The People's Court," TV courtroom shows have become a huge draw for syndicated television. Today, there are numerous such shows throughout the day. Depending on the success of the show, the overall ratings, and the charismatic personality of the judge on the bench, producers are willing to pay handsomely for on air-talent. Typically, TV judges average about $2 million per season, although an exact average is difficult to determine due to the strict confidentiality clauses in each individual contract.

Top Earners

Judge Judy Scheindlin takes the prize for the highest-paid TV judge with a reported annual salary of $45 million, putting her firmly among other top-paid celebrities such as Howard Stern and Shaquille O'Neal. Although TV judges are paid millions of dollars per season, other TV judges have not fared as well with regard to pay. Judge Glenda Hatchett was let go from her successfully syndicated courtroom show for a dispute of her salary of $2 million per year.


Based in central Georgia, Louise Bennett has been writing professionally since 1999. Her business, financial and career articles have appeared in hundreds of print and online publications. She received a bachelor’s degree from Columbus State University. An avid reader, Bennett is currently working on her first novel.

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Valerie Macon/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images