The Forbes magazine list of the highest-paid women on television, released today, saw a close race for the No. 1 spot between a scripted star and a reality star. The scripted star came out on top, with sitcom actress Sofia Vergara topping the list with estimated earnings of $19 million between May 2011 and May 2012.
The Colombian-born star of ABC’s “Modern Family,” who’s half of the management company Latin World Entertainment, made money from a wide range of enterprises, including three movie roles, a clothing line and numerous endorsement deals — including Spanish-language endorsements with Burger King, Comcast and State Farm, along with English-language deals with Cover Girl and Diet Pepsi.
Vergara nudged out reality star Kim Kardashian, who placed a close second on the list with $18 million in earnings. Kardashian’s empire included the E! series “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” a four-hour E! special on her wedding to Kris Humphries, more than 63 magazine covers (many of them focused on the dissolution of the Kardashian-Humphreys marriage just a few weeks after the wedding), her namesake fragrance, the family boutique DASH, the new Vegas specialty store Kardashian Khaos and the family clothing line Kardashian Khaos for Sears.
Eva Longoria placed third on the list with earnings of $15 million, even with “Desperate Housewives” ending its run this year after eight seasons. Along with endorsements, she’s keeping busy in TV with “Devious Maids” and “Ready for Love.”
No. 4 on the list is reality star and marketing guru Bethenny Frankel with earnings of $12 million, followed by Khloe Kardashian Odom at No. 5 with $11 million.
Rounding out the top 10:
6. Tina Fey (“30 Rock”), $11 million
7. Mariska Hargitay (“Law & Order: SVU”), $10 million
8. Zooey Deschanel (“New Girl”), $9 million
(tie) Felicity Huffman (“Desperate Housewives”), $9 million
(tie) Ellen Pompeo (“Grey’s Anatomy”), $9 million