How Much Do The Housewives Make Per Episode?

Net worth featured image

The “Real Housewives” franchise has become a cultural phenomenon, with various iterations showcasing the lives of affluent women across the United States and beyond. One of the most frequently asked questions about the series is how much these women earn per episode. In this article, we’ll delve into the financial aspects of being a housewife on one of television’s most popular reality shows.

Understanding the Real Housewives’ Pay Structure

The salaries of the housewives vary significantly based on several factors, including the popularity of the show, the location, the housewife’s tenure on the series, and their individual negotiation skills. Generally, the longer a housewife has been on the show and the more popular they are, the higher their per-episode salary is likely to be.

Factors Influencing Housewives’ Salaries

Before we dive into specific numbers, it’s important to understand the factors that influence how much each housewife makes per episode:

  • Seniority: Cast members who have been on the show for multiple seasons often earn more than newcomers.
  • Negotiation: A housewife’s ability to negotiate her contract can significantly impact her earnings.
  • Popularity: Those who have a strong fan base or bring more drama to the show tend to command higher salaries.
  • Spin-offs: Housewives who secure their own spin-off series may see an increase in their earnings.
  • Location: Salaries can also vary by the city the franchise is based in, reflecting the cost of living and the show’s local popularity.

Top Earners in the Franchise

Some housewives have become standout stars, earning top dollar for their appearances. These women often have been with the franchise for many years and have developed a strong personal brand.

Salaries of Newcomers vs. Veterans

Newcomers to the franchise typically earn less than their more established counterparts. As they prove their value to the show, they may see their per-episode pay increase.

How Salaries Have Evolved Over Time

As the franchise has grown in popularity, so have the salaries of its stars. Early seasons of the show paid significantly less than what current housewives earn.

Housewives’ Earnings Compared to Other Reality Stars

When compared to other reality TV stars, housewives’ earnings are competitive, often surpassing those of other reality series participants.

Additional Income Streams for Housewives

Beyond their per-episode pay, many housewives have leveraged their fame to create additional income streams, such as product endorsements, book deals, and personal businesses.

Salary Discrepancies Among the Cast

Not all housewives are paid equally, and this can lead to tension among the cast. Discrepancies in pay are often a reflection of a housewife’s individual contract negotiations and contributions to the show.

Impact of Show Ratings on Salaries

The overall success and ratings of the show can impact the salaries of its stars. Higher ratings often lead to higher salaries as the show generates more revenue.

Do Housewives Get Paid for Reunion Episodes?

Reunion episodes are a staple of the franchise, and housewives are typically compensated for their participation in these often explosive wrap-ups.

Contract Negotiations and Salary Caps

Some housewives have hit salary caps, where the network is unwilling to pay more per episode. Contract negotiations can be complex and are crucial in determining a housewife’s salary.

How Merchandise Sales Affect Earnings

Housewives who sell merchandise related to their personal brand or the show can see a significant boost in their overall earnings.

Housewives’ Salaries During Off-Season

While not filming, housewives may not earn a salary from the show, but many continue to earn through personal ventures and public appearances.

Comparing Salaries Across Different Real Housewives Cities

Salaries can vary widely across the different “Real Housewives” cities, reflecting the varying costs of living and popularity of each franchise.

How Much Do The Housewives Make Per Episode? A Summary Table

To provide a clearer picture of the housewives’ earnings, here’s a summary table that outlines the estimated per-episode pay for housewives across various cities and seasons:

FAQs About Housewives’ Earnings

Here are some frequently asked questions about the earnings of the “Real Housewives”:

  • Q: Who is the highest-paid housewife?
    A: The highest-paid housewife has varied over time, with Nene Leakes and Bethenny Frankel often cited as top earners at different points.
  • Q: Do housewives get paid for special episodes or trips?
    A: Yes, housewives are typically compensated for all filming, including special episodes and cast trips.
  • Q: Can housewives negotiate their salaries?
    A: Absolutely. Housewives can and do negotiate their salaries, often with the help of agents or lawyers.
  • Q: Are housewives’ salaries public information?
    A: While exact figures are not always public, estimates and reports often provide insight into their earnings.
  • Q: Do housewives receive royalties from reruns?
    A: This depends on their individual contracts, but in many cases, housewives do not receive royalties from reruns.


The salaries of the “Real Housewives” are as varied as the women themselves. Factors such as seniority, popularity, and negotiation skills play significant roles in determining how much each housewife makes per episode. While some earn modest sums, others have reached impressive heights, earning hundreds of thousands of dollars per season. Additionally, many housewives supplement their show earnings with personal business ventures, endorsements, and public appearances. As the franchise continues to evolve, so too will the financial compensation of its stars, reflecting the ever-changing landscape of reality television.

You May Also Like