Here's the list of the highest paid TV actors in 2010. The big money on television these days seems to be in reality TV. Personality Ryan Seacrest will earn $15 million for making fun of amateur singers on American Idol this year, while Judge Judy will bring home $45 million to intimidate people from the bench. However, there are still some actors in scripted shows still making a serious income.
- Charlie Sheen ("Two and a Half Men") $1.25 million per episode. Sheen's tabloid antic do not seem to have had a negative effect on his paycheck. He is, in fact, the only star of a scripted TV show to pull in a seven figure check this year.
- Jon Cryer ("Two and a Half Men") $550,000 per episode. Most of the highest paid actors are from the immensely popular police procedural genre. The most noticeable exceptions to the rule are the top two spots on our list, which go to these sitcom stars.
- Hugh Laurie ("House") $400,000+ per episode. The medical genius at the heart of House remains as popular as he is cantankerous.
- The "Desperate Housewives" cast (Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria Parker) tie with "The Simpsons" (Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner) at $400,000 per episode, proving that suburban comedies remain winning formulas.
- Christopher Meloni & Mariska Hargitay ("Law & Order: SVU") $395,000 per episode (each). Now in its eleventh year, "Law & Order: SVU" is the highest rated of the Law & Order franchise.
- Tied at $375,000 per episode: David Caruso ("CSI: Miami"), Marg Helgenberger ("CSI"), and Mark Harmon ("NCIS"). Procedurals score big, as seen through the three actors tied for number six.
- Tina Fey ("30 Rock") $350,000 per episode. "30 Rock" had a shaky start. The show was critically acclaimed, but took some time to catch on with audiences. The show gradually gained popularity, however, and now its star and creator stands at number seven on the highest paid list, along with Jeremy Piven ("Entourage"), Laurence Fishburne ("CSI"), Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer"), and Denis Leary ("Rescue Me").
- When Steve Carell leaves "The Office" next year, he'll be walking away from a $297,000 per episode salary. Carell says that he is not holding out for a better salary, but that he feels that, during his seven years on the show, the character has run its course.
- Gary Sinise ("CSI: NY") $275,000 per episode. Actors from all three "CSI" series made the list. Sinese plays the troubled leader of the "CSI:NY" team, but we think the actor sleeps better than the character he plays with the comfort of his six-figure payday.
- Patrick Dempsey ("Grey's Anatomy") and Angus T. Jones ("Two and a Half Men") – $250,000 per episode. The ladies love Dempsey as "McDreamy," and producers reward him with a $250K paycheck. Jones' salary makes him the highest paid child actor on television.
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