The Los Angeles Times calculated how much several popular TV personalities are paid per viewer by dividing their annual salaries by the average number of viewers for each star’s show as a way of determining who’s overpaid (and underpaid) for their services.
E! host Chelsea Handler is one of the most overpaid stars, banking $16.70 per viewer as host of Chelsea Lately, thanks to her $12 million salary and the show’s 0.7 million viewers.
Anderson Cooper and David Letterman are also overpaid. Cooper makes $13.54 per viewer for his work on Anderson Cooper: 360 ($6 million salary, 0.4 million viewers) while Letterman makes $9.69 for each one of his 3.2 million viewers due to his $31 million salary.
Meanwhile, Ashton Kutcher, Ryan Seacrest and Christina Aguilera are among the most underpaid starsdespite their massive salaries, due to the popularity of their various shows.
Kutcher makes $17 million a year for his work on Two And A Half Men, but the show’s 14.7 million viewers bumps his pay per viewer down to $1.16.
Seacrest only earns $0.75 per viewer as host of American Idol, despite his $15 million salary and the show’s 20 million+ viewers.
Now former Idol judge Jennifer Lopez only made $0.63 per viewer with her $12.5 million contract. Her Voice counterpart, Christina Aguilera, earned even less with $0.17 per viewer with her $2.1 million salary and the show’s 12.7 million viewers.
The LA Times‘ salary figures are based on interviews with talent agency reps, managers and network officials as well as published reports.