CHARLIE Sheen is the highest paid TV actor in the United States, earning R6,2 million for each episode of Two and a Half Men, in which he plays a wealthy flirt, according to a survey by TV Guide.
But he looks like a positive pauper when compared to the highest earners of unscripted TV. Oprah Winfrey earned some R2,9 billion from her daytime talk show, while Simon Cowell earned R380m from his role in American Idol, and talk show host David Letterman earned R243 million.
Also outshining the actors on the pay scale was Family Guy and American Dad creator Seth MacFarlane. His new five-year deal with TV network Fox will net him more than R760 million and make him the highest-paid writer-producer on television.
Sheen makes about R152 million a year from the show, which runs 23 episodes annually. He is followed by fellow CBS star William Petersen, who earns R4,5 million an episode for portraying investigator Gil Grissom on the police drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. â€“â€“ dpa.