Emmy Character Salaries


Oh, to be young, good looking and fictional. Exemplified by exciting jobs and countless romantic conquests, the lives of television characters leave little to be desired -- and much to be questioned. Don't you ever wonder how so many of them sustain their glamorous lifestyles? After all, most live in luxurious digs, have a seemingly endless array of wardrobe choices and sport hairstyles that probably cost so much to maintain they'd make John Edwards blush.

In the spirit of awards season, we looked at what some Emmy nominees' onscreen personas would be making in real life, and if these characters could get by without the help of Hollywood writers.

George O'Malley (T.R. Knight, 'Grey's Anatomy')

The job:Surgical intern at Seattle Grace Hospital

The salary: $50,968 in Seattle, Wash. (National average: $47,251)

The verdict: Pretty accurate, considering that George shares his living expenses with co-workers and that his only major expenditures seem to be drinks from the local pub.

Dr. Jennifer Melfi (Lorraine Bracco, 'The Sopranos')

The job:Psychiatrist

The salary: $190,193 in New Jersey (National average: $150,210)

The verdict: With close ties to mob boss Tony Soprano, Dr. Melfi has her fair share of problems, but money probably isn't one of them.

Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven, 'Entourage')

The job: Hollywood agent

The salary: $86,454 in Los Angeles (National average: $69,282)

The verdict: Unless he's taking far more than the standard 10 percent, the real Ari would be in debt up to his Armani collar trying to maintain his Hollywood mansion, luxury sports car and extravagant social life.

Wilhelmina Slater (Vanessa L. Williams, 'Ugly Betty')

The job:Creative director of Mode magazine

The salary: $51,996 in New York (National average: $37,277)

The verdict: Perhaps Ms. Slater has a little money pocketed away from her modeling days to help pay for her Botox treatments and designer wardrobe.

Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland, '24')

The job: Federal agent

The salary: $49,057 in Los Angeles (National average: $44,587)

The verdict: L.A. is expensive, but Agent Bauer's job doesn't allow him much leisure time anyway; plus, with his MacGyver-like resiliency, he'll always find a way to get by.

Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub, 'Monk')

The job:Private detective <

The salary: $73,909 in San Francisco (National average: $56,300)

The verdict: Luckily, Monk doesn't have extravagant tastes, so he can probably live on this income despite San Francisco's pricey cost of living.

Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick, 'The Closer')

The job: Los Angeles police chief deputy

The salary: $59,890 in Los Angeles (National average: $39,088)

The verdict: Although Johnson's a no-nonsense kind of gal when it comes to her job, the high-maintenance hairstyle is a dead giveaway that either this chief deputy is enjoying some kickbacks or the show's writers aren't playing by the coupon-cutting rules.

Liz Lemon (Tina Fey, '30 Rock')

The job:Head writer for a TV variety show

The salary:$58,851 in New York (National average: $47,536)

The verdict: Not one to spend money on fancy clothes, expensive wine or weekends in the country, Liz's only extravagance seems to be an alarmingly high amount of takeout food, so she could easily maintain the same lifestyle on her real life counterpart's salary.

Alan Shore (James Spader, 'Boston Legal')

The job:Attorney

The salary: $94,416 in Boston (National average: $77,462)

The verdict: A grown-up version of the poor little rich kid Spader played in Pretty in Pink, the narcissistic, womanizing Shore could realistically live quite comfortably on what he makes, but if he goes through money the way he goes through women, he's headed for trouble.

Pam Beesley (Jenna Fischer, 'The Office')

The job:Receptionist

The salary:About $19,254 in Scranton, Penn. (National average: $21,020)

The verdict: Pam doesn't make much money, but with a lifestyle as unassuming as her demeanor, she really doesn't need to. She's not into flashy clothes or spa treatments, lives in a modest apartment, and needs little more than a few close friends nearby to have a good time

Copyright 2007 CareerBuilder.com.

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