A recent study conducted by American magazine Forbes (best-known for specialising in business and finance) has taken a look at the financial side of being a celebrity, most notably their ‘income’ columns, as their list of ‘Top 10 Highest-Paid TV Actors’ revealed Two and a Half Men star Ashton Kutcher to be the most minted personality on the box.
While the survey was not limited to how much the actors get paid for their on-screen work, it is definitely seen as the biggest contributing factor, as like his show’s predecessor Charlie Sheen (now on FX’s Anger Management), Kutcher topped the list, as he was recorded as earning $24m (£15m) from May 2011 to May 2012.
The 34-year-old, who plays internet billionaire ‘Walden Schmidt’ on the CBS sitcom, was recognised as also bringing in income through his investments in online businesses such as Skype and Spotify.
Running down the list, second place was credited to Hugh Laurie (‘Dr. House’ on now-concluded medical drama House) with $18m, while Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond) was listed as third on a similar total. Fourth and fifth on $15m were Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) and Mark Harmon (NCIS), with sixth filled by $14m Tim Allen (Last Man Standing).
Cementing the reputation of Two and a Half Men as one of the highest-paying shows on TV was Kutcher’s co-star Jon Cryer, listed as seventh with $13m to his name last year. Rounding out the top 10 were Patrick Dempsey (Grey’s Anatomy) with $12m, Jim Parsons & Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory), and Jason Segal (How I Met Your Mother) on $8m, completing a top 10 with 11 entries. Forbes are supposed to be good at sums…
Forbes’ offical online release of the list explained their rules in calculating the income, writing: “The numbers for the Highest-Paid TV Actor list come from our Celebrity 100 research and reflect estimated earnings between May 2011 and May 2012. We do not deduct for manager and agent fees or the other costs of being a celebrity.”
Taking away from the hard-hitting costs of ‘being a celebrity’, the list only goes to further confirm what everyone has long-known - that acting appears to be a nice bit of work if you can get it…