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Banking More Than a Mil an Episode: Mahershala Ali of ‘The Plot’ Lands at the Top of a Hollywood Ranking of Highest Paid Actors on TV

On average the main star of a TV can pull in about $750,000 to $1 million per episode, with secondary cast earning between $600,000 and $800,000. “The Plot” actor Mahershala Ali cracked the $1 million ceiling by earning $1.3 million an episode, making him the highest-paid actor in Hollywood. Hs net worth is estimated at $12 million.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 12: Mahershala Ali attends the 2021 AFI Fest Official Screening of Magnolia Pictures’ “Swan Song” at TCL Chinese Theatre on November 12, 2021 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

“Yellowstone” actor Kevin Costner tied with Ali, also taking in $1.3 million per episode, Variety reported. Angela Bassett was the only other Black actor on Variety’s salary ranking. She earns $450,000 per episode on Fox-TV’s “9-1-1.”

The suspenseful “The Plot” centers on a struggling author Jake (Ali), who commits plagiarism by passing off a literary creation as his own. His career and life are changed forever as he fears being found out.

Ali (born Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore) has also earned countless awards for his work, including two Academy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and a Primetime Emmy Award. Time magazine also named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2019. And, in 2020, The New York Times ranked him 23rd in its list of the 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century.

Ali launched his career as a regular various television series, including “Crossing Jordan” (2001–2002) and “Threat Matrix” (2003–2004). His breakthrough came when he starred as Richard Tyler in the sci-fi series “The 4400,” from 2004 to 2007. On film, he first struck a note appearing in 2008’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” with Brad Pitt.

Ali won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performances in the acclaimed film Moonlight (2016) as well as for his starring role in the “Green Book” (2018). With these two win, he became the first Muslim actor to receive an Oscar and the first Black actor to win two Oscars in the same category.

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