Sheen, Winfrey & Laurie top TV pay list

Sheen, who has been sentenced to 30 days in rehab for his Christmas Day (25Dec09) altercation with wife Brooke Mueller, nets a whopping $1.25 million (£830,000) per episode for hit comedy Two And A Half Men.

His co-star Jon Cryer had the second highest salary for a comedy star on U.S. TV – $550,00 (£366,600) per show – while The Simpsons’ voiceovers Dan Castellaneta and Julie Kavner are paid $400,000 (£266,600) for each instalment of the animated series.

The figures, obtained by TV Guide magazine, show that Oprah Winfrey is still the Queen of the small screen – she pulls in a massive $315 million (£210 million) per year for her talk show, while Judge Judy Sheindlin and David Letterman are paid $45 million (£30 million) and $28 million ($18.6 million) respectively.

In the drama shows category, Hugh Laurie takes the top spot with earnings of more than $400,000 (£266,600) per episode of House.

Law & Order: SVU stars Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay both take home $395,000 (£263,000).

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest topped the reality TV stars rundown, with an annual salary of $15 million (£10 million) for fronting the singing show.