Sofia Vergara Is the Highest Paid Actress on Television

Old news: If you want to make real money in television these days, it helps to be incredibly good-looking.

New news: It also helps to speak Spanish.

That's the takeaway from Forbes' list of the highest paid women in TV, anyway. Colombian Modern Family star Sofia Vergara took the number one spot on the list, earning $19 million in 2012 -- a big enough amount to displace even reality TV star, shiller of clothing and perfume, and inspirer of wacky lawsuits Kim Kardashian to the number two spot. (Poor Kim earned only $18 million last year.)

Kardashian doesn't speak any Spanish, to our knowledge. But ranking at number three on Forbes' list is bilingual Mexican-American actor Eva Longoria, earning $15 million last year.

Vergara's funds don't all come from Modern Family, of course. As Forbes explains:

2012 was a boom year for the Colombian native: she had three movie roles, scored endorsement deals in English (Cover Girl, Diet Pepsi) and Spanish (Burger King, Comcast and State Farm) and launched a clothing line with KMart that earned her a seven-figure advance. But Vergara's far from the ditzy bombshell she plays up for the cameras: as one half of the management company Latin World Entertainment, she's an entertainment mogul on the rise.

Endorsements also played a big part in getting Longoria to number three; the Desperate Housewives actor is the face of L'Oreal and Pepsi, in addition to earning $375,000 per episode of the soapy drama that ends its eight-season run this year.

It's worth pointing out that Vergara and Longoria are the only two Latinas in the list's top 20 earners. Still, Forbes' current cover story values the Hispanic TV market at $1 trillion, calling it "the next media jackpot" -- and notes that media companies are racing to capitalize, which indicates that we'll be seeing more highly paid Spanish-speaking actors on TV in the years to come.

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