Simon Cowell Named Top Earning Man on Primetime US Television named Simon Cowell as the top earning man on primetime US television with an estimated earnings of $75 million based on estimated pre-tax earnings from June 1, 2008 to June 1, 2009.

The notorious American Idol judge and creator of the Got Talent franchise defeated The Apprentice creator Donald Trump ($50 million) and American Idol host Ryan Seacrest ($38 million) for the top spot.

Simon Cowell also created the programs American Inventor and The X Factor. He is also a record producer for his own label signing up Leona Lewis and Susan Boyle.

Donald Trump meanwhile owns the Miss Universe Organization (together with NBC) and has large businesses ranging from neckties to vodkas.

Ryan Seacrest hosts Los Angeles radio shows and celebrity news shows. He is also the creator of the series Keeping up with the Kardashians.

Cowell turned 50 with a lavish birthday party costing $1.6 million last month, October 3.

Rounding up the top ten are:

4. Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Man)- $21 million

5. Steve Carell (The Office)- $20 million

6. Howie Mandel (Deal or No Deal)- $15 million

7. Kiefer Sutherland (24)- $ 13 million

8. Jeff Foxworthy (Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?)- $11 million

9. Hugh Laurie (House)- $10 million

10. David Caruso (CSI: Miami) and Patrick Dempsey (Grey’s Anatomy)- $9 million