They made millions, but at the height of Jon & Kate Plus 8's fame, how much was the family really raking in?
Speculation ranged from tens of thousands to six figures per episode — but the truth of the matter according to tell-all book author Robert Hoffman, is that the most the family ever made was $22,500 per episode.
So it turns out the Jon and Kate Gosselin were not making as much as people originally thought, but they were still banking off appearances and endorsements, not to mention the number of episodes per season racked up a high six figure income for the family.
In Hoffman's book, Kate Gosselin: How She Fooled The World, he claims to have obtained contracts between the Gosselins and Discovery Communications, as well as tax documents, showing the TLC show paid Jon and Kate a total of $109,186.90 in 2007.
A breakdown of their earnings is as follows:
1/4/07 - $6,000 – 20 days of shooting
3/7/07 - $6,000 – 20 days of shooting
4/25/07 – $250 - Appearance Fee $125 x 2
5/9/07 - $5,000 – Service Recognition Add’l Payment
7/25/07 - $6,000 – 20 days of shooting
8/8/07 - $6,000 – 20 days of shooting
8/29/07 - $14,285 – Jon & Kate season 2
9/26/07 - $6,000 – Seasons 1 & 2 20 days of shooting
9/26/07 - $1,500 – Missed work pay for publicity appearances
10/3/07 - $2,246 – Shed site season 1 & 2 remove from 1099
11/7/07 - $25,952.50 – Season 3
11/7/07 - $2,000 – Seasons 1 & 2 on camera services all programs
11/14/07 - $2,000 – Season 1 & 2 contract amend for last 12 episodes
11/20/07 - $25,952 – Season 3
Adjusted 1099 - $109,186.90
According to Hoffman, the Gosselins were paid a measly $2,000 per episode when the show first began and gradually negotiated their way up to $22,500 per episode.
Hoffman breaks down the money the Gosselins made according to the contracts he says he obtained — and notes "these figures do not include such things as bonuses, travel expenses, or per diems."
$2,000 per episode x 9 episodes = $18,000
$5,000 per 1/2-hour episode x 9 episodes = $45,000
(3) 1 hour episodes=$15,000 extra
Season 2 Total=$60,000
$5,000 per 1/2-hour episode x 32 episodes = $160,000
(4) 1 hour episodes=$20,000 extra
Season 3 Total=$180,000
$9,000 per 1/2-hour episode x 41 episodes = $369,000
(8) 1 hour episodes=$72,000 extra
Season 4 Total=$441,000
Season 4 was renegotiated to $22,500 per 1Ž2-hour episode x 41 episodes = $922,500
(8) 1 hour episodes=$180,000 extra
Season 4 Total=$1,102,500
Season 5: $$22,500 per 1/2-hour episode x 24 episodes = $540,000
(7) 1 hour episodes = $157,500 extra
Season 5 Total=$697,500
So while the Gosselins weren't making millions upon millions, they were certainly bringing in some good money — especially when you factor in all their endorsement offers, and all the freebies that Kate loves so much.
"In February 2008, Kate signed a contract to participate in Procter & Gamble’s initiative to provide clean drinking water to children around the world," Hoffman writes, noting that the contract was valid for just three months, from Feb. 15, 2008, through May 31, 2008.
"In exchange for the right to use her approved image and voice to endorse the program, Procter & Gamble Distributing LLC paid Kate the tidy sum of $25,000."
On top of the $25,000 Gosselin was paid, travel and first-class accommodations along with hair and makeup and a $150 per diem was included as well.
The initiative touted on the Procter & Gamble website that just “$30 gives a family clean water for a year,” but with the money they paid Kate they could have given at least 833 families clean drinking water for a year!
Perhaps even more lucrative was Kate's deal with Kmart.
"On September 15, 2008, Kate signed a contract to participate in a holiday campaign for Kmart," Hoffman wrote in his book.
"The Gosselins were paid $158,000 for up to 24 hours of 'work.'"
And in a section titled The Devil Wears Ann Taylor, Hoffman alleges that Kate sent an email to an Ann Taylor representative digging for freebies.
"On Wednesday, December 17, 2008, Kate sent an email to Kate Foster, an Ann Taylor representative, to tell her how much she enjoyed her recent 'shopping jaunt' to the Loft. Kate said that she had sadly spent the entire gift card quickly and had made appearances at Lofts in 'Louisianna, New York City and Lansing, Michigan!!!!'" Hoffman wrote.
"Kate said that the store employees 'are never shocked to see me seeing as they ALL know that all I wear is the Loft!!! :)' She then wondered if there was 'a card refill on the horizon?' and said that she loved wearing a new outfit for each book signing."
Hoffman says that Foster replied they would be happy to keep the gift cards coming and asked about making a deal -- "perhaps you shopping with an entertainment or morning show at LOFT with our designer?"
Foster asked to get in touch with Kate's publicist and said she would send out a card the following week, asking how much money she thought she would need on an ongoing basis.
"Kate sent Julie May (her publicist) the response from Kate Foster and asked if they could do this because she wanted that 'supply to keep coming!!!!'" Hoffman claimed.
"She told Julie she wanted to do 'whatever it takes ... I obviously love their stuff and spend AT LEAST $500 per week there.'"
Among other freebies Kate allegedly accepted were Crest Whitestrips, Honest Tea, Lasik eye surgery, Charmin toilet paper, camping equipment and an invisible fence around their multi-million dollar compound to keep the new puppies in.
What do you think about the money the Gosselins made doing their reality TV show — more or less than what you expected? Sound off in the comments below.