Police say Jussie Smollett was unhappy with his reported $65,000 per-episode salary on 'Empire' - here's how it stacks up against some of TV's biggest stars

FILE - In this May 20, 2016 file photo, actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the FILE - In this May 20, 2016 file photo, actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the &quotEmpire" FYC Event in Los Angeles. Chicago police said Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, they're still seeking a follow-up interview with Smollett after receiving new information that &quotshifted" their investigation of a reported attack on the &quotEmpire" actor. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)Associated Press

  • "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett, after turning himself into police on Thursday, was charged with making a false police report of a racist and homophobic assault last month.
  • Chicago police alleged Smollett staged the attack as a publicity stunt, and that he was unhappy with his "Empire" salary.
  • He made $65,000 an episode, a "well-placed source" told a HuffPost reporter.
  • How does that stack up against some of the highest-paid actors on television?

"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett turned himself into police on Thursday and was charged with making a false police report.

Smollett claimed he was the victim of a racist and homophobic assault last month. But Chicago police alleged he staged the act as a publicity stunt because he was unhappy with his "Empire" salary. Smollett made $65,000 per episode for the Fox show, according to HuffPost reporter Yashar Ali, who cited a "well-placed source." Empire has 18 episodes a season. A Fox rep declined to comment on Smollett's compensation.

"Empire" is on its fifth season, and Smollett has been a member of the cast since the beginning. How does his reported salary stack up against some of the highest-paid actors in television?

Norman Reedus is now making $1 million an episode for "The Walking Dead" after costar Andrew Lincoln departed the show, according to Variety. The stars of HBO's "Westworld" are getting big raises ahead of the sci-fi drama's third season, The Hollywood Reporter reported in October.

And Jim Parsons of CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" made headlines last summer for walking away from a reported two-year, $50 million paycheck for two more seasons of the sitcom, which CBS subsequently decided to end this year.

Below are some of TV's highest-paid actors and how much they make:

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$1,000,000 – Norman Reedus, "The Walking Dead" (AMC)

$1,000,000 – Norman Reedus, "The Walking Dead" (AMC)

Source: Variety (2018)

$1,000,000 — Elisabeth Moss, "The Handmaid's Tale" (Hulu)

$1,000,000 — Elisabeth Moss, "The Handmaid's Tale" (Hulu)

Source: Variety (2018)

$1,000,000 — Nicole Kidman, "Big Little Lies" (HBO)

$1,000,000 — Nicole Kidman, "Big Little Lies" (HBO)

Source: The Hollywood Reporter (2018)

$1,000,000 — Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory" (CBS)

$1,000,000 — Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory" (CBS)

Source: Variety (2016)

$650,000 – Dwayne Johnson, "Ballers" (HBO)

$650,000 – Dwayne Johnson, "Ballers" (HBO)

Source: The Hollywood Reporter (2017)

$600,000 — Julia Roberts, "Homecoming" (Amazon)

$600,000 — Julia Roberts, "Homecoming" (Amazon)

Source: Variety (2018)

$575,000 — Ellen Pompeo, "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC)

$575,000 — Ellen Pompeo, "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC)

Source: The Hollywood Reporter (2018)

$500,000 — Sean Penn, "The First" (Hulu)

$500,000 — Sean Penn, "The First" (Hulu)

Source: Variety (2018)

$500,000 — Kit Harington, "Game of Thrones" (HBO)

$500,000 — Kit Harington, "Game of Thrones" (HBO)

Source: Variety (2017)

$375,000 — John Goodman, "The Conners" (ABC)

$375,000 — John Goodman, "The Conners" (ABC)

Source: Variety (2018)

$350,000 — Millie Bobby Brown, "Stranger Things" (Netflix)

$350,000 — Millie Bobby Brown, "Stranger Things" (Netflix)

Source: Variety (2018)

$250,000 — Sterling K. Brown, "This Is Us" (NBC)

$250,000 — Sterling K. Brown, "This Is Us" (NBC)

Source:The Hollywood Reporter (2018)

$250,000 — Evan Rachel Wood, "Westworld" (HBO)

$250,000 — Evan Rachel Wood, "Westworld" (HBO)

Source: The Hollywood Reporter (2018)

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