Since Judge Judy debuted in 1996, the irascible former family court judge continues to dominate the daytime reality courtroom genre, spawning countless copycats. (The genre was all but written off following the demise of The People’s Court in 1993.) Her $100 million, four-year contract, signed in 2004, makes her one of the highest-paid women in television. She has been nominated eight times for an Emmy award and written four books, all of which became national bestsellers. In July 2010, Sheindlin’s contract was renewed. She will now receive $45 million per year to tape her show, which is currently the top rated daytime show in the US.

Net Worth: $140 million


Judge Judy stands next to a portrait of herself