“Two and a Half Men” is a cash cow for CBS, but the network and creators Chuck Lorre and Lee Aronsohn aren’t the only ones benefiting.
“Men” star Ashton Kutcher leads Forbes’ annual list of top-paid TV actors, having earned an estimated $24 million between June 2012 and June 2013.
The long-running sitcom, which reeled in 11.6 million viewers in the first week of the new television season, has dominated the list for the past few years; this is Kutcher’s second year in a row at the top spot and in 2011, Charlie Sheen, the actor he replaced on the sitcom, was No. 1.
Kutcher has familiar company on this year’s list. His co-stars Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones clocked in at second and seventh places, respectively. However, Jones is no longer on the show after he publicly denounced the show on a video that went viral, and has been replaced by Amber Tamblyn.
Ray Romano managed to sneak in at No. 3 on the Forbes list, thanks to his role in NBC’s “Parenthood,” as well as the royalty checks he receives for his former sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond” and for voicing Manny the Mammoth in the “Ice Age” movies.
Mark Harmon and Neil Patrick Harris tie for fourth. Harmon’s “NCIS” has remained a hit for CBS, albeit with older viewers. Harris’ salary mostly comes from his role as Barney in CBS’ “How I Met Your Mother,” which recently entered its last season, but he also earned a nice paycheck for providing his voice in “The Smurfs 2.”
The full list is below.
1. Ashton Kutcher: $24 million
2. Jon Cryer: $21 million
3. Ray Romano: $16 million
4. Neil Patrick Harris: $15 million
5. Mark Harmon: $15 million
6. Patrick Dempsey: $13 million
7. Angus T. Jones: $11 million
8. Tim Allen: $11 million
9. Michael C. Hall: $10 million
10. Charlie Sheen: $10 million