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The 10 highest-paid actors and actresses on TV 

Sofia Vergara
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The most celebrated and highest-paid names in Hollywood will be on full display tonight at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards on NBC. In years past, the Emmys have fostered political conversations about gender, race and pay inequality.

There are signs that, at the very highest levels, the pay gap between high-earning actors and actresses in Hollywood may be narrowing. According to Forbes' list of the highest-paid television actors in 2017, four of the 10 highest-paid performers are women.

Here are the 10 highest-paid actors and actresses on TV, according to Forbes:

9. Ellen Pompeo (tie)
Ellen Pompeo
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Show: "Grey's Anatomy"
Estimated earnings in 2017: $13,000,000

9. Mindy Kaling (tie)
Mindy Kaling
Theo Wargo/FilmMagic | Getty Images

Show: "The Mindy Project"
Estimated earnings in 2017: $13,000,000

8. Ty Burrell
Ty Burrell
Justin Tallis/PA Images via Getty Images

Show: "Modern Family"
Estimated earnings in 2017: $13,500,000

7. Mark Harmon
Mark Harmon
Kevin Winter/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Show: "NCIS"
Estimated earnings in 2017: $19,000,000

6. Kunal Nayyar
Kunal Nayyar
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic | Getty Images

Show: "The Big Bang Theory"
Estimated earnings in 2017: $25,000,000

5. Simon Helberg
Simon Helberg
Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images

Show: "The Big Bang Theory"
Estimated earnings in 2017: $26,000,000

4. Kaley Cuoco
Kaley Cuoco
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Show: "The Big Bang Theory"
Estimated earnings in 2017: $26,000,000

3. Johnny Galecki
Johnny Galecki
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Show: "The Big Bang Theory"
Estimated earnings in 2017: $26,500,000

2. Jim Parsons
Jim Parsons
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic | Getty Images

Show: "The Big Bang Theory"
Estimated earnings in 2017: $27,500,000

1. Sofia Vergara
Sofia Vergara
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic | Getty Images

Show: "Modern Family"
Estimated earnings in 2017: $41,500,000

Topping the list is Sofia Vergara, who Forbes estimates brought in $41,500,000 between June 1, 2016, and June 1, 2017. Vergara stars as Gloria Pritchett in the popular ABC comedy "Modern Family" and has held the highest-paid spot for more than five years.

"Modern Family" consistently won the Emmy for Outstanding Original Comedy Series from 2010 to 2014. This is the first time in eight years that "Modern Family" was not nominated for the award. Vergara has been nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series four times but has never taken home the prize.

Behind Vergara are several actors from CBS's "The Big Bang Theory." In fact, five actors from the comedy cracked the top 10, including Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco. In 2017, these actors actually each gave up $100,000 to help their female co-stars Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch, who were making 80 percent less. The show has been nominated for 52 Emmy awards and has won 10.

Both "Modern Family " and "The Big Bang Theory " will air their final seasons in 2019.

Rounding out the list is Mark Harmon, Ty Burrell, Mindy Kaling and Ellen Pompeo. Since Forbes compiled their list of highest-paid actors and actresses in 2017, Pompeo signed a new contract with ABC's "Grey's Anatomy," worth roughly $20 million, cementing her spot as the highest-paid actress on a primetime drama.

When you look beyond the top 10, Hollywood's gender pay gap becomes more obvious. Forbes estimates that the 10 highest-paid TV actresses make about $156.5 a year, while the 10 highest-paid TV actors make closer to $185 million.

Disclosure: NBC and CNBC are divisions of NBCUniversal.

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Sofia Vergara
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
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