Money & Power

Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Anniston Are Named TV's Highest Paid Actresses

Javier Bardem isn't doing so bad, either.
IMAGE GETTY IMAGES / EMMA MCINTYRE
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More and more actors are flocking to TV for well-written roles—and it doesn't seem like they're taking much of a pay cut in the process.

Thanks to a report yesterday from Variety, we now know what television's biggest stars make. And it's a lot. Javier Bardem tops the list at $1.2 million per episode, which he's earning for a forthcoming Amazon miniseries about 16th-century explorer Hernán Cortés.

Reese Witherspoon comes in just behind him at $1.1 million per episode, tied with her future co-star Jennifer Aniston. The pair are taking that in for their upcoming dramedy with Apple. And whereas Bardem's Amazon series is only four hours long, Apple has already given Witherspoon and Aniston a two-season order—so they'll be raking in that cash for some time to come.


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Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston at the 2013 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.

As equal pay for actors and actresses has become more of a hot-button issue, it's reassuring to see two women so close to the top of the list. It might be a coincidence, but it could also indicate that Hollywood is finally getting the message—in part because of a new California law.

The state now forbids employers from asking future employees about their past salaries. As women and minorities often start out getting paid less, it can prevent them from making what they deserve later on. The entertainment industry is used to "basing things on what that person’s last quote was," said Ayo Davis, ABC's head of casting and talent. Now, "we are being much more thoughtful in our discussions about budget and compensation. And I do think it makes a difference."

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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