Charlie Sheen is the highest paid TV actor in the United States, earning 825,000 dollars for each episode of Two and a Half Men, in which he plays a wealthy flirt, according to a survey by TV Guide, dpa reported.
But he looks like a positive pauper when compared to the highest earners of unscripted TV. Oprah Winfrey earned some 385 million dollars from her daytime talk show, while Simon Cowell earned 50 million dollars from his role in American Idol, and talk show host David Letterman earned 32 million dollars.
Also outshining the actors on the pay scale was Family Guy and American Dad creator Seth MacFarlane. His new five-year deal with TV network Fox will net him more than 100 million dollars and make him the highest-paid writer-producer on television.
Sheen makes about 20 million dollars a year from the show, which runs 23 episodes annually. He is followed by fellow CBS star William Petersen, who earns 600,000 dollars an episode for portraying investigator Gil Grissom on the hit police drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Mariska Hargitay was the best paid actress on TV, earning 400,000 dollars for her role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Coming in second among the women was Kyra Sedgwick who earned 275,000 dollars for each episode of the police drama The Closer.