Television personalities are like a reliable dog. Go into your living room, and they’ll be there – waiting to make you smile, comfort you on a cold day, or distract you when you’re down.
Even the recent disruptions to the TV schedules couldn’t keep them down. Shows were paused, re-written, and filmed under today’s bizarre new working conditions – but television’s biggest stars continued to bound up to your screen, wet-nosed and waggy-tailed, to offer reassurance. Like so many of us, TV people had to adapt very quickly to succeed.
Resume.io recently revealed Hollywood’s hardest-working stars. But screen talents work to a whole different schedule: around the clock, around the calendar, part of the fabric of every-day life. So, now we present television’s hardest-working TV stars: the big names with the most TV-related credits from 2016-2020.
Kevin Hart is the World’s Hardest-Working TV Star
Kevin Hart is TV, lately. After a string of unremarkable movie roles and hilarious stand-up albums, Hart put on his producer hat to develop show formats and eventually his own media network, Laugh Out Loud. Hart’s TV credits are mostly due to his hosting and guesting accomplishments. In fact, only his history of homophobia has stood in the way of Hart hosting TV’s crown jewel: the Oscars.
Like Hart, many of TV’s most-seen stars are those with more than one string to their bow. Actors who host (James Corden), performers who produce (RuPaul), and those who can do just about anything excellently (Oprah Winfrey) fill the top of the chart.
Hart, RuPaul, Kimmel, Winfrey: America’s Busiest TV Personalities
Chat show hosts are the ambassadors of TV culture, showing up nightly to set the agenda and broker laughs between unlikely guest combos. The longest-running chat show on ABC is Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and Kimmel presented over 3,000 episodes before taking a break mid-pandemic. Thanks to frequent guest appearances on other shows, Kimmel is joint second busiest American TV star.
RuPaul is Kimmel’s rival for that coveted second position. America’s top drag queen started out as a filmmaker and musician – the latter, plus RuPaul’s modeling career, made him very famous. But RuPaul’s fused his varied skills to create Drag Race, the show that took him from ‘notorious’ to ‘super-famous.’ His charm, insight, and originality have won him invites to many shows, building a 105-show CV over the past five years.
James Corden is TV’s Most Industrious Brit
It was James Corden’s stage and movie performances in The History Boys that first brought him to wide-scale public attention. The comic actor capitalized by developing and starring in the hit British sitcom Gavin & Stacey. Corden’s charisma earned him a coveted chat show host role in the States, leading to nearly twice the number of TV credits of his closest British rival, second-placed Piers Morgan.
The busiest female Brit is comedian Sarah Pascoe. The London-born comic is a guest of choice for numerous British panel shows and quizzes. Pascoe has returned to acting in recent years, too, finally writing and starring in her own six-parter, Out of Her Mind, in 2020.
Cate Blanchett and Rebel Wilson Vie for Australia’s Top Spot
Celebrity chef Curtis Stone is Australia’s hardest-working TV personality, with 45 credits over the past five years. But Stone is very much an international celebrity, racking up credits in the UK and the US, thanks to guest spots on cooking and lifestyle shows, from MasterChef to Martha to The Best Thing I Ever Ate.
But two big names fight it out for the position of Australia’s hardest-working female TV personality. Rebel Wilson is a Hollywood star who regularly appears on chat shows, sitcoms, and celebrity quizzes. But her 42 credits are pipped by the ceaseless efforts of Cate Blanchett. Our guide to Hollywood’s busiest stars showed Blanchett got 189 award nominations from 2010-2020. It’s no wonder she’s a frequent chat show guest, making 45 TV appearances in the latter half of the decade.
Discover the Hardest-Working Soap Star, TV Chef, Comedian and More
TV geeks will be eager to tuck into our data, discoverable in the table below. Click the arrows and buttons to re-order the data or sort by category.
Comedians run the risk of outstaying their welcome. The very appeal that grabs your attention to start with might fade after a while. But the top TV comics are in it for the long-run. King of Busy Kevin Hart is joined in the top ten busiest comedians by veterans including Keegan-Michael Key, Sarah Silverman, and the UK’s Jimmy Carr – although the UK’s busiest, Nish Kumar, is a relative newcomer.
Jimmy Kimmel and James Corden are the hardest-working presenters in the US and UK, respectively. And number one reality TV star RuPaul has nearly twice the credits of second-placed Jamie Laing, most famous for Made In Chelsea and as the great-great-grandson of the inventor of the digestive biscuit.
The most-credited chefs in the US and UK are Guy Fieri and Gordon Ramsey. Cockney geezer Danny Dyer, lately best known as EastEnders’ Mick Carter, is the UK’s busiest soap actor. Justin Hartley of This Is Us fame takes the crown in the States with 42 jobs in the past five years, including 5 acting jobs and 36 appearances as a host or guest.
Our guide to TV’s hardest-working celebrities reveals that being multi-skilled and willing to self-promote is key to getting regular exposure. What have you done lately to get your CV working for you?
Our comprehensive list of TV celebrities came from various IMDb articles (see sources below). We counted the number of credits on IMDb from 2016 to 2020 for each category.
TV specials weren’t counted apart from in the case of presenters. We didn’t count video game-related credits.
In the case of a tie for total credits, results were decided using a tiebreaker as follows:
- Actor credits
- Self credits
- Producer credits
- Writer credits
If there were cases where everything was tied, whoever had most credits in 2020 won.
Imdb. (2018). 100 Most In-Demand Actors Working Right Now. IMDb
Imdb. (2018). Top 100 Actors Working In Hollywood Today. IMDb.
Imdb. (2012). The 75 Best Australian Actors/Actresses. IMDb.
Imdb. (2012). Top 50 Best British Actors. IMDb.
Imdb. (2013). BRITISH ACTORS IN US TV SHOWS. IMDb.
Imdb. (2019). Australian Actors: Up-and-coming Actors to Watch 2019-2020 (Rising Stars). IMDb
Mckan, K. (2020). Top 10 Famous Chefs on TV. touchbistro.com
Dalziel, L. (2020). Australian Chefs: Top 10 Favourite Celebrity Chefs. newideafood.com.au
Toomer, J. (2020). The Best Stand-Up Comedy Specials On Netflix Right Now, Ranked. uproxx.com
Australian TV Presenters. adonimedia.com.au