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September 2, 2015

TV's highest paid stars, starting with Charlie Sheen

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 5th 2008 8:03AM
Charlie SheenOn Two and a Half Men, Charlie Sheen plays a vulgar playboy, a shallow guy who's more interested in booze, women and having a good time than being responsible and working hard. The role has earned him a couple of Emmy nominations and a lot of money. A lot of money. In fact, in a new poll from TV Guide, Charlie Sheen is the highest paid actor on TV, making $825,000 per episode; in a season of 23 shows, that comes out to nearly $20 million.

That's more than he could make in the movies, and unlike films, Charlie can keep on raking it in on Two and a Half Men for years. The show is a huge hit in syndication, so more episodes will simply mean more money down the road.

Right behind Charlie on the list is fellow CBS leading man, CSI's William Petersen. He's making $600,000 an episode. He's only doing ten episodes this season, but since he's also an executive producer on the series, he's probably making even more.

Women, typically, don't make as much as men -- that's true in show business and real life -- but don't cry for either Mariska Hargitay (Law and Order: SVU) and Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer). They're making $400,000 and $275,000 per episode, respectively. And earning every cent, if you ask me.

It's not surprising that Oprah is the richest woman in TV, $385 million a year for her talk show. If I was her, I wouldn't quit doing my afternoon show either.

Making about a tenth of Oprah, David Letterman earns $32 million for his CBS talk show and Simon Cowell is collecting $50 million to critique young singers on American Idol. Among news anchors, Katie Couric makes $15 million per year from CBS, even if her broadcast remains in third place in a race of three.

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Dan Chichian

Considering that Sheen is only doing a 30 minute show as compared to Petersen, Hargitay, and Sedgwick who are all doing an hour show; he is really raking it in.

August 05 2008 at 12:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Dan Chichian's comment

He's also producing. Either that means more work or more dough. But I'm not the journalist here, somebody who gets paid should look that up...

August 05 2008 at 1:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Considering he just plays a toned down version of the douche he is, I bet he's laughing all the way to the bank!

August 05 2008 at 4:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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