What Would Your Favorite TV Characters Earn In Real Life?
They've made you laugh, they've made you cry, and done it all while working hard to pay the bills. Your favorite TV characters not only have engrossing personalities, they have on-screen jobs with incomes that vary widely. How much does your favorite TV character earn?
In honor of the upcoming 2011 Emmys, online salary database PayScale.com gathered a group of six TV starlets and researched their career choices and earnings. The following is salary info for some of America's most well-loved characters.
1. Molly Flynn, "Mike & Molly"
How much she'd make in real life: $49,700
She's sweet, she's thoughtful and she's in love with her whole-lot-to-hug honey, Mike. Played by Melissa McCarthy, the character of Molly charms audiences and manages her classroom of fourth graders in Chicago with grace. "I don't get a lot of atta boys as a teacher, but I know if I reach just one kid I am making a difference." And for her hard work, she earns about $49,700 per year.
2. Dr. Mark Sloan, a.k.a. Dr. McSteamy, "Grey's Anatomy"
Job: Plastic Surgeon
How much he'd make in real life: $309,600 - $382,100
This rogue is all chaos, drama and sex appeal. Whether breaking hearts or sewing straight stitches, he thickens the plot of Grey's Anatomy week after week. Played by Eric Dane, Dr. McSteamy tops our character income list. As an otolaryngologist in Seattle, Wash., who specializes in plastic surgery, PayScale estimates his annual salary to range between $309,600 and $382,100. No wonder he can always open up his pocketbook to pay for his romantic misdeeds.
3. Leslie Knope, "Parks and Recreation"
How much she'd make in real life: $42,300 - $51,000
Long-term, Leslie Knope wants to be the first female president of the United States, but for now she works with a motley team at the Pawnee, Ind., Parks and Recreation Department. As a mid-level executive, she takes charge and never lets her passion for her hometown wane. What does Leslie Knope earn for keeping parks safe and available to everyone? PayScale estimates a salary range of $42,300 and $51,000 per year.
4. Jack Donaghy, "30 Rock"
How much he'd make in real life: $250,600 - $348,500
He's decisive, conservative, slick, strong-willed, and he always seems to be in the way. Jack Donaghy, played by Alec Baldwin, is the vice president of East Coast Television. What does he earn for belittling Liz Lemon and wandering the halls at 30 Rockefeller? PayScale shows his Manhattan salary to range between $250,600 and $348,500 per year.
5. Peggy Olson, "Mad Men"
Job: Senior Copywriter
How much she'd make in real life: $79,900
Peggy Olson (Elizabeth Moss) of "Mad Men" has had a dramatic rise from secretary to junior copywriter to full-time ad copywriter. Her hidden pregnancy and struggle to have her work noticed have seasoned her and now she's getting some sass. What would an ad copywriter like Peggy earn in Manhattan today? PayScale estimates her pay would be $79,900 per year.
6. Michael Scott, "The Office"
Job: General Manager
How much he'd make in real life: $55,100 - $73,500
Oh so awkward and absolutely addictive, the character of Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell, has audiences laughing and squirming in their seats. What did this "friend first, boss second" king of office humor earn for leading his team at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company in Scranton, Penn.? PayScale estimates that his salary would be between $55,100 and $73,500 per year.
Source: All salary data is provided by online salary database PayScale.com. Salaries listed are median, national, annual salaries for full-time workers with 5 to 13 years of experience, and include any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing.
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Bridget Quigg is the web content editor for online salary database PayScale.com.
Located in Seattle, Wash., Bridget specializes in writing and editing content for blogs, websites and feature articles.
Bridget graduated from Stanford University with a degree in English. She teaches creative writing and is also a songwriter who regularly performs music and comedic story-telling in the Seattle area and beyond. Her most recent one-woman show was titled, "Almost Female: A Jockette's Awesome Journey."