Top three earning men in prime-time are reality stars and producers: Cowell, Trump, Seacrest

While the top-earning TV shows may not be reality TV, the top-earning male prime-time TV stars are reality stars.

The three men who lead Forbes’ list are American Idol judge and America’s Got Talent producer Simon Cowell, who’s estimated earnings for June 1, 2008, to June 1, 2009, were $75 million; Apprentice blowhard Donald Trump, who made $50 million; and American Idol host and reality show producer Ryan Seacrest, who made $38 million.

All three are producers of reality series in addition to talent, which explains why they beat out #4 Charlie Sheen ($21 million) and #5 Steve Carrell ($20 million). At number six was Howie Mandel, who made $15 million thanks to his game show Deal or No Deal, and his dumb NBC prank reality series Howie Do It.

Last month, Forbes created a similar list for prime-time women, which was led by Tyra Banks and her $30 million a year, which would have made her #4 here.

Prime Time’s Top-Earning Men [Forbes]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.