Image Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC; Sonja Flemming/CBSCharlie Sheen, Jon Cryer, and Hugh Laurie are the small screen’s highest-paid actors, according to TV Guide‘s roundup of TV’s top earners. The magazine breaks its sampling of paychecks down by category, so Two and a Half Men‘s Sheen tops the comedy side with a reported $1.25 million an episode (followed by Cryer with $550,000), and House‘s Laurie leads the dramas with $400,000+ per episode. Peruse the list and tell us what catches your eye. For dramas: I was pleasantly surprised to find Parenthood‘s Lauren Graham making $150,000 per episode, which puts her only $25K behind The Good Wife‘s Julianna Margulies, on-par with Outlaw‘s Jimmy Smits, and $25K ahead of NCIS‘s Michael Weatherly and Blue Bloods‘ Tom Selleck. Also noteworthy: I’ve got a definite type, and it’s set at $100,000: White Collar‘s Matt Bomer, Castle‘s Nathan Fillion, Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm, Hawaii Five-0‘s Alex O’Loughlin, and Justified‘s Timothy Olyphant.
As for comedies: I love that everyone else’s salary is given at a nice round number, and The Office‘s Steve Carell’s comes in at $297,000. That puts him $53K behind 30 Rock‘s Tina Fey and Entourage‘s Jeremy Piven, and $47K ahead of Two and Half Men‘s Angus T. Jones (he’s the half). Also: Rules of Engagement‘s David Spade ($150,000) should not be making more than Modern Family‘s Ed O’Neill ($100,000) and Ty Burrell ($50,000), Glee‘s Jane Lynch ($50,000), or The Big Bang Theory‘s Jim Parsons ($40,000). For the record, I would say Parsons needs to renegotiate: Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco — who, granted, were better known before the show — take home $60,000 an ep.