TOP OF SHOW is a term used when determining an actor’s salary for a TV series. It’s the highest total rate an actor can receive for an appearance on a particular episode regardless of how many days they are required to be on set. In other words, if it takes 8 days to shoot an episode of a TV show, no matter how many days of those 8 a certain actor works, he or she will be paid as if they worked all 8 days. This 8-day rate is referred to as top of show. Normally if a guest star is only needed for one day, he or she will get paid a day rate (negotiated by their agent). But often times if the actor works for more than one day he or she will make top of show.
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