TV's richest stars tied at the top

Eva Longoria and Tina Fey have tied in first place as the highest-paid actresses on television.

Forbes magazine has revealed that they both earned US$13 million (NZ$16.8m) in the past year.

Tina has made much of her income from her role on 30 Rock as well as releasing her first book Bossypants which sold 150,000 copies in the first month on the shelves.

Meanwhile, Eva is finishing up her final season on Desperate Housewives, the show that made her a star.

Along with her hefty salary on the hit TV show she also has many lucrative endorsement deals including with L'Oreal and LG.

Her cast mate Marcia Cross has also made list but earns less than Eva raking in US$10 million (NZ$12.9m) in the past 12 months.

The redhead is shared third place with Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay who sees the new season and syndicated show receive a staggering 53 million viewers a week.

Marg Helgenberger of CSI also brought in US$10 million from her show that is now in its 11th season.

Teri Hatcher reportedly earned US$375,000 (NZ$484,000) per episode of Desperate Housewives giving her a US$9 million (NZ$11.6m) income which is the same that her cast member Felicity Huffman receives.

Although Cougar Town is not as successful as her old show Friends, Courteney Cox still makes a nice living with her US$7 million (NZ$9m) payday and she also receives residuals from re-runs of the old comedy show.

Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo earned US$7 million (NZ$9m) in the past year while Julianna Margulies received US$6 million (NZ$7.75m) from her critically acclaimed show The Good Wife.

Television stars make less than half of what their big screen counterparts make.

Angelina Jolie and Sarah Jessica Parker were named the top paid female movie stars and earned US$30 million (NZ$38.8m) each in the past year.

"Our top three TV women earned a total $36 million compared to the $88 million earned by the top three movie stars. But there are advantages to working in TV," Forbes staff writer Dorothy Pomerantz said.

"The parts tend to be better, especially for women. Actress who are working mums can usually stay in LA or New York and see their kids and there's a steady pay check."

The full list:

1. Eva Longoria, Desperate Housewives: US$13 million
1. Tina Fey, 30 Rock: US$13 million
3. Marcia Cross, Desperate Housewives: US$10 million
3. Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victim's Unit: US$10 million
3. Marg Helgenberger, CSI: US$10 million
6. Teri Hatcher, Desperate Housewives: US$9 million
6. Felicity Huffman, Desperate Housewives: US$9 million
8. Courteney Cox, Cougar Town: US$7 million
8. Ellen Pompeo, Grey's Anatomy: US$7 million
10. Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife: US$6 million

- AAP

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