Ashton Kutcher owes Charlie Sheen big time. Since replacing Sheen on Two and a Half Men, Kutcher has rocketed to the No. 1 spot on Forbes’ list of highest paid TV actors. The business magazine unveiled the list on Wednesday, following the July announcement of TV’s highest paid actresses.
Between May 2011 and May 2012, Ashton Kutcher earned $24 million, Forbes estimates. Last year, Sheen was in the top spot with $40 million, but this year he didn’t even make the list. Kutcher’s earnings are also boosted by his appearances in Nikon camera commercials and his continued investments in Silicon Valley. He got in early on Skype, Spotify and Airbnb.
Kutcher’s Two and a Half Men co-star Jon Cryer also made Forbes’ top 10, moving down from spot No. 4 to No. 7 but earning $2 million more than he did from May 2010 to May 2011.
Others who made the list for a second consecutive year are Ray Romano, Mark Harmon, Patrick Dempsey and Hugh Laurie. Check out the full list below:
1. Ashton Kutcher, $24 million
2. Hugh Laurie, $18 million
3. Ray Romano, $18 million
4. Alec Baldwin, $15 million
4. Mark Harmon, $15 million
6. Tim Allen, $14 million
7. Jon Cryer, $13 million
8. Patrick Dempsey, $12 million
9. Jim Parsons, $8 million
9. Johnny Galecki, $8 million
9. Jason Segel, $8 million
Unlike the list of TV’s top-earning actresses, this group is devoid of reality stars. The top 10 highest-paid men also had a higher average earning than the women of TV by a couple million: An average of $14.5 million as opposed to the ladies’ $12.3 average.
Some of these actors were helped by their crossover into the big screen, like Tim Allen with his voice work for Toy Story movies and Jason Segel with his starring role – and writing credit – in last fall’s The Muppets. Jim Parsons was also more active on stage this year, appearing in the Broadway revivals of The Normal Heart and Harvey.
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