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Reality shows: you either love them or you can"t stand them, or you just pretend that you can"t stand them. Whatever the case may be, there"s no doubting America"s love for reality television. Everyone has their favorite reality stars and on TLC, you can find some of the most notable ones. In the world of reality television, the only bad publicity is no publicity.
From Honey Boo Boo to Kate Gosselin, the most notable reality stars undoubtedly have the fame that comes along with the big Hollywood stars, but do they also have the money? The answer is more complicated than you think. They might not be making millions of dollars per episode but their careers as reality stars have certainly helped them launch businesses.
Let"s take a look at our favorite TLC reality stars and find out how much they have earned for their work. You won"t believe it!
You know Alana Thompson as Honey Boo Boo. She first appeared on TLC on the show Toddlers & Tiaras where she competed in a child pageant. Out of all of the contestants on that show, Honey Boo Boo was easily its breakout star, which meant there was plenty of opportunity for making bank - but did she?
On that show, Thompson reportedly made no money whatsoever, but for her spin-off show, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Thompson and her family made between $15,000 to $20,000 per episode, which is certainly a pay raise to say the least. The show was canceled, however, when it was discovered that her mother"s boyfriend was a registered sex offender.
Kody Brown of Sister Wives is part of a show that depicts a polygamist family. Father Brown has four wives: Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn, and 18 children. While the exact amount is not known, it is believed that the amount Kody Brown and his family receive is around $25k to $40k per episode.
While that may seem like a decent salary, for a family with 18 kids, it"s really not. For that reason, the Brown family has numerous side businesses that allow them to earn some extra cash. Some additional sources of income come from small business ventures such as a bed and breakfaster, as well as book royalties.
Kate Gosselin was the star of two hit TLC shows: Jon & Kate Plus 8 and Kate Plus 8. Viewers watch as she and her husband raised their eight kids until they couldn"t stand each other anymore. When the show first aired, they made between $25,000 to $50,00 per episode.
However, once Jon and Kate spilt up, Kate"s salary was reduced to around $40,000. Jon and Kate Gosselin split in June 2009 and their divorce was finalized in 2009. Since then legal custody over the children has changed with two living with Jon and the other six living with Kate.
Kat Von D of LA Ink is a tattoo artist and model. Her show ran for four seasons before it was canceled due to controversy surrounding anti-Semitism allegations. Thanks to TLC, she is a high-profile tattoo artist, earning up to $200 per hour, which is a pretty hefty price to say the least.
In addition to her career in body art, she also has other businesses, making her a full-on entrepreneur. She has sold a book, High Voltage Tattoo, as well as a make-up line for Sephora. On top of this, she"s done music collaborations, including providing her vocal talents for multiple studio albums.
The Willis Family was first thrust into fame after their appearance on America"s Got Talent. After that, they got their own TLC show titled The Willis Family – very creative. The family has a whopping 14 members who are all part of a singing group together. The show about the massive Nashville family ran for two seasons.
For their troubles, the Willis Family was paid an astounding $32,500. However, behind the scenes was much darker that anyone had realized, which just goes to show how fake "reality" can be. The father, Toby Willis was accused of raping four of his children, which he pled guilty to, and was sentenced to 40 years in prison. The show, of course, was canceled.
The Duggar family from 19 Kids and Counting depicts Jim Bob and Michelle Dugger along with their 19 kids. The religious family does not believe in birth control and they homeschool their children. The show ended due to allegations of molestations surrounding their eldest son.
Before that, the family was making pretty big bucks. The parents were said to be making between $25,000 to $40,000 per episode. However, with the show no longer on the air, since 2015, The Duggar parents will have to make their money elsewhere. The children, now with their own spinoff show called Counting On are said to be making up to $40K.
The Roloffs from Little People, Big World are a family of farmers near Portland, Oregon. The show focuses on the six family members who all have dwarfism. The show has been on since 2006 and is now in its 21st season. That means plenty of opportunities to make money, so how much did they make?
It is said that the Roloffs were making around $1,500 up to $3,000 at the start. However, TLC tends to pay up more when the show is a proven success according to Business Insider. Now, supposedly, they may be making anywhere from $7K or $10K. Add on top of that, the income from farming, and you can be sure the Roloffs are not hurting for money.
Unexpected has been one of TLC"s most successful reality shows. Focusing on the lives of young mothers, the show depicts the struggles of having a family at such a young age, along with strained family relationships and love lives. The show is similar to MTV"s reality show Teen Mom.
According to McKayla Adkins, in a post on Instagram, McKayla Adkins reportedly earned as much as $1,000 to start with but that price goes up with time. That salary will likely increase for later seasons. On the side, Adkins has been creating Youtube videos, which she undoubtedly earns some revenue from.
Stacy London of TLC"s What Not To Wear is a fashion guru, stylist, author and magazine editor. Her program focuses on makeovers and is one of the more normal programs on TLC amidst all of the quirky characters of many of their shows. The show ran for 10 seasons and made Stacy London a huge success.
With everything she"s done, Stacy London has a net worth of about $8 million. It"s difficult to say how much she made from the show alone, but it was probably not much given that the participants of the show were not paid and only the winners were paid the amount of about $5,000. But there"s no measuring just how much money fame will bring you in the future.
Buddy Valastro from Cake Boss is exceedingly famous and easily the biggest star from the show. But its not just his personality that shines through in the show, he also makes some pretty impressive cakes that seem to get better and better. But how much can a baker earn for a reality show? It"s more than you probably think.
TLC clearly values Buddy Valastro to say the least. He has a massive net worth, and in addition to the money he earns as a baker, Buddy Valastro is said to earn a whopping $80,000 per episode. Since appearing on the show, his bakery sales have increased tenfold, proving that fame keeps on giving.
Jazz Jennings of I am Jazz is not just a reality television personality, she"s also a Youtube star, LGBT activist and spokesperson. She"s also notably, the youngest publicly documented transgender person. Her numerous television appearance, including on the Oprah Winfrey Network have skyrocketed her into fame.
Through her show alone, she has earned a ton for someone her age. Typical of most TLC stars, she is believed to make about $10,000 per episode. But with everything else considered, she has about 50 times that combined. Some sources suggest that she be making about $15,000 at this point as she gains seniority at TLC.
Bill Klein and Jen Arnold from The Little Couple are two individuals affected by skeletal dysplasia. Bill is a businessman and Jen is a doctor of neonatology. These careers undoubtedly earn them plenty of cash in their own right but they earn plenty of money on the side for their reality TV stint too.
Like some of the others on this list, Bill Klein and Jen Arnold are believed to be making $25,000 up to $40,000 per episode. Combined with the salaries they earn from their line of work, they have a higher network than the rest of the TLC family. The show has been on since 2009 and is still on today.
90-Day Fiance is not a show that pays well but it certainly can give people that fame boost that is sure to help them in their career. Nikki Cooper is one cast member from the show that is the wife of Chris Thieneman. She revealed that cast members are paid a mere $1,000 for their trouble.
In addition to the pay per episode, for 13 episodes total, they are also paid another $2.5K. For those not familiar with the show, it revolves around foreign fiances trying to acquire a K-1 visa with only 90 days to marry each other. It is currently in its eighth season which premiered in December 2020.
Theresa Caputo is a psychic medium and star of the reality series Long Island Medium. It is one of the most successful shows on the network although not everyone loves it. Many have gone so far as to say that she"s a fraud, but if you don"t believe in the supernatural, you already know that.
On top of her own pile of money she"s been sitting on, she also earns potentially $40,000 per episode for her contract with TLC. For the psychic readings themselves, Theresa Caputo earns about $175 each. While that seems high, she claims that the profits go to charity.
The Busbys from Outdaughtered have seven daughters, which is well documented in the show. Before the show, Adam Busby worked as an account manager. Danielle Busby struggled with getting pregnant and after many attempts, they eventually tried intrauterine insemination. The result was all-girl quintuplets. The series began in 2016 and is running to this day.
The exact salary of the Busbys is not known, however, it is speculated based on the earnings of other reality shows that they make around $25,000 per episode. And they must be doing well for themselves as they have donated about $75,000 worth of toys to charity.