1. 'X Factor' Lands Cowell $42 Million

    Simon Cowell, executive producer and a judge on "The X Factor," poses at a world premiere screening event for the new television series, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011, in Los Angeles. The competition series gives viewers the opportunity to choose the next breakout music star or group. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

    Chris Pizzello / AP Photo

    Simon Cowell made $42 million last year through his deal with Sony that created Syco Entertainment, which controls many of Cowell’s entertainment properties, including The X Factor. According to corporate filings, Sony paid $49 million for a 50 percent share in Syco and $42 million of that went to Cowell. That should be good news for Cowell, because despite all the money spent to create it, The X Factor had fairly dismal ratings this season.

    Read it at The New York Times