After its fifth season debuted to 18.5 million viewers last Thursday, Grey’s Anatomy should be able to keep its cast members in the money for years.
But what about the cash those docs are making away from the set on endorsement deals, movie roles and recording contracts? Portfolio ran the numbers, and while they don’t accord with the show’s pecking order, they do jibe with the cast members’ popularity. Which means Katherine Heigl and Patrick Dempsey no longer need the show, but Ellen Pompeo and Eric Dane do, unless they start making the same movie and endorsement dough.
Here’s the breakdown of who made what and how:
Eric Dane (Dr. Mark “McSteamy” Sloan)
Estimated off-set earnings: $800,000
How: Supporting roles in X-Men: The Last Stand and Open Water 2: Adrift ($150,000 each) and the Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston Christmas romantic comedy Marley & Me ($500,000 range). Future fragrance and fashion campaigns are reportedly in the works (look out, Patrick Dempsey).
Sara Ramirez (Dr. Callie Torres)
Estimated off-set earnings: $450,000
How: A $200,000 recording contract with Universal Music Group’s Decca Records based on her work in Spamalot and a Dove spokeswoman gig valued at $250,000. (She also did a Got Milk? print campaign but wasn’t paid for it.)
Ellen Pompeo (Dr. Meredith Grey)
Estimated off-set earnings: $700,000
How: According to Portfolio, “the most iconic thing about Meredith Grey, and by extension Pompeo, is her voice. According to one advertising executive, her distinctive voice may be her most valuable asset, because when it comes to choosing Grey’s docs for beauty campaigns, Katherine Heigl and Kate Walsh are almost always top-choice.” Ouch.
She did make $200,000 from a 2007 Propel Fitness Water television commercial voice-over and $500,000 from the 2006 New York & Co. clothing campaign she did with Patrick Dempsey.
Pompeo hasn’t made a single movie since Grey’s premiered. (Better get on that.)
Patrick Dempsey (Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd)
Estimated off-set earnings: $9.8 million
How: Ah, Patrick Dempsey. Grey’s Anatomy resuscitated his long-dead career, and now he’s the second most bankable star of the show, according to Portfolio, largely due to commercial endorsements:
He is currently the face of Serengeti Eyewear and Versace Man, and recently signed a deal with Avon to launch his own signature cologne, Patrick Dempsey Unscripted. Estimated initial earnings: $2.35 million. An avid auto racer, Dempsey signed a million dollar deal with Amgen to sponsor his team. He has also earned approximately $400,000 doing voice-overs for Mazda and State Farm commercials, in 2006 and 2008, respectively. In 2006, Dempsey and on-screen love Ellen Pompeo earned about $500,000 each for a television and print holiday campaign for women’s apparel retailer New York & Co. And although this earned him at most 10 grand, Dempsey was one of many celebrities who did a spot in 2007 introducing Monday Night Football for ESPN.
He’s also made a little scratch from movies including Made of honour ($4 million), Enchanted ($750,000 to $1 million) and Freedom Writers ($500,000).
Katherine Heigl (Dr. Izzie Stevens)
Estimated off-set earnings: $16.1 million
How: $6-$8 million movie paychecks after the success of Knocked Up. She’s also landed endorsement deals with Samsung, GM and Nautica perfume (for an estimated $1.8 million) But, Portfolio says, “her outspoken criticism of Grey’s writers in recent months may have hurt her marketability…One ad exec says Heigl was recently dropped from the running for a major beauty campaign.”
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