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October 1, 2014

Ashton Kutcher and Hugh Laurie Are TV's Highest-Paid Actors

by Jean Bentley, posted Aug 10th 2011 1:55PM
Ashton KutcherTelevision is attracting more and more big-name stars, but this week's TV Guide Magazine points out that it's probably more of a fiscally sound decision for the actors than we realize.

While the most elite A-Listers make millions in movies, it's much less lucrative for everyone else. TV, on the other hand, offers a steady paycheck. Six-digit paydays add up when you take a 22- or 13-episode season into account.

It probably won't surprise you to know that Ashton Kutcher, who is filling Charlie Sheen's shoes on 'Two and a Half Men,' tops the comedy list with a salary of $700,000 per episode -- half a million dollars less than what Sheen was making. 'House' star Hugh Laurie makes the same $700,000 for every hourlong episode of the Fox medical drama.

Elsewhere on the drama side, Mark Harmon makes half a mil for each episode of 'NCIS.' Mariska Hargitay is the highest-paid female, earning $395,000 for each episode of 'Law & Order: SVU,' with 'CSI''s Marg Helgenberger not far behind at $375,000.

In the sitcom world, Kutcher's co-star Jon Cryer earns just slightly less, $600,000 an episode, while Tina Fey leads the ladies with $350,000 for each episode of '30 Rock.' Interestingly, the highest-paid female in comedy is none other than Julie Kavner, whom you might know better as Marge Simpson. The voice actress banks $400,000 episode for 'The Simpsons.'

It should be noted that actors' deals become more lucrative over time, so the fact that stars of long-running shows like 'House,' 'Law & Order: SVU' and 'The Simpsons' shouldn't come as a surprise. And a big-name actor like Tim Allen will make more money for his new sitcom than, say, Joel McHale would for 'Community.'

Check out the full salary list in this week's TV Guide Magazine.

Tell us: Does it surprise you that Ashton Kutcher is making so much money for his new gig in comparison to other TV stars?

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Michelle

ewwwwwwww Ashton Kutcher is NOT TALENTED enough to be in the same class as HUGH LAURIE.HUGH LAURIE IS ONE OF THE MOST TALENTED PEOPLE IN HOLLYWOOD. ASTON CANT ACT HIS WAY OUT OF A PAPER BAG LOL

September 24 2011 at 6:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bobrwr

They bought Ashton Kutcher's Twitter following, not his acting ability....since when has he ever been a box office money maker at the movies ?? ...His mother, sorry, .I mean wife, Demi is now just letting him out of his diapers to fend for himself... I will watch the show, but not because of Ashton, but because I have respect for the other actors , and feel bad as to the way Charlie Sheen screwed them all ...very selfish thing to do...For them, I hope the show succeeds , and not for Ashton's bank account.

August 29 2011 at 5:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rosemaryram

Obviously, CBS and the creator, Chuck Lorre, have a lot of hope and money invested in Ashton Kutcher;his performance and the chemistry between him and the other actors in the ensemble sitcom can make or break "Two and A-Half Men." I think that is why AK was only given a one year contract. I certainly wish AK and the other cast members the best.

August 16 2011 at 9:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JoAnne

I think it's pathetic. People with that much money are pathetic with their buying. Do something useful for the people around you and take an interest.

August 15 2011 at 6:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hunter

How can you pay Ashton Kutcher that much? I have a hard time believing the show is going to make it without Sheen. The show was basically about him being his offscreen persona onscreen.

August 12 2011 at 8:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
crazy ray

Ashton Kutcher? What, is Demi paying half his salary?

August 12 2011 at 7:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sam Chiu

i am not surprise. ashton is talented and is attractive. people love to watch him. i even know someone who subscribed to tvhod online tv just so she wont miss a show of ashton.

August 12 2011 at 11:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dukewife

I won't watch Ashton on the show....didn't watch it before and don't think that highly of Ashton's acting skills to begin with. A waste of money IMHO.

August 10 2011 at 7:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kashkm

Does that salary include Tina Fey's writing/producing/creating credits? Or is it just acting salary?

August 10 2011 at 5:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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