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Highest-paid TV stars: Ellen Pompeo usurps Game of Thrones cast to become highest-paid actress in TV drama

Pompeo has starred in long-running medical series Grey's Anatomy since 2005

Jacob Stolworthy
Thursday 18 January 2018 13:39 GMT
Ellen Pompeo has starred as Meredith Grey in 'Grey's Anatomy' since 2005
Ellen Pompeo has starred as Meredith Grey in 'Grey's Anatomy' since 2005 (Rex)

Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo is set to become the highest-paid actress in a television drama following a new deal that will see her earn $20m a year.

The star of the long-running medical drama, which first aired in 2005, will overtake Game of Thrones cast members Emilia Clarke and Lena Headey who currently all net $500,000 (£391,000) per episode compared with Pompeo's $575,000 (£415,000).

This will make her the second highest-paid star behind Robert De Niro who has reported takings of $775,000 (£606,000) for his part in as-of-yet untitled TV project from director David O. Russell. The highest-paid actress in television overall is The Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco who earns $900,000 (£649,000) alongside co-stars Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kuna Nayyar and Simon Helberg.

When accounting for licensing and endorsement deals, however, Forbes reports that Sofia Vergara of Modern Family has an annual take-home of $41.5m (£29.2).

Pompeo's deal, which she signed towards the end of 2017, will see her reprise the role of Meredith Grey in at least two more seasons of the series bringing the season count to 16. The move will also see her acquire a percentage of the show's profits as she undertakes a producer role.

She told The Hollywood Reporter in a recent tell-all article: “I’m 48 now, so I’ve finally gotten to the place where I’m OK asking for what I deserve, which is something that comes only with age,”

Series creator Shonda Rhimes added that Grey's Anatomy will last for “as long as Ellen wants to do it.”

You can find Pompeo's 10 most remarkably candid quotes from the article - including her views on disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein - here.

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