Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer, the stars of the CBS comedy Two and a Half Men, are the highest paid actors on US television with estimated earnings topping US$20 million (NZ$24m) each, Forbes magazine says.
Kutcher, the 35-year-old actor who replaced Charlie Sheen after his ouster from the hit TV show in 2011, topped the list for the second consecutive year with US$24m (NZ$29m), but Cryer was not far behind with US$21m (NZ$25m).
Their 19-year-old co-star on the show, Angus T. Jones, came in seventh place on the annual list that estimated earnings for the 12 months from June 2012-2013. Jones made about US$11m (NZ$13m).
''TV's highest-paid actor is laughing all the way to the bank since replacing Sheen on Two and a Half Men after the troubled star's 2011 flameout,'' said Forbes, adding that Kutcher was also an investor in technology companies.
Comedian Ray Romano, whose show Everybody Loves Raymond ended eight years ago, placed third on the list with US$16m (NZ$19m), most of which came from syndication of the CBS comedy series.
Neil Patrick Harris of CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother debuted on the list, sharing the number four spot with Mark Harmon of CBS crime drama NCIS at US$15m (NZ$18m). Patrick Dempsey of ABC comedy Grey's Anatomy rounded out the top five with income of US$13m (NZ$16m).
Sheen, once the top male earner on TV who now appearred in the FX network sitcom Anger Management, captured the number 10 spot with earnings of US$10m (NZ$12m).
Forbes compiled the list by talking to producers, agents, managers and other insiders to estimate earnings from entertainment-related sources before taxes and expenses.
The full list can be found at www.forbes.com
Do you agree with the city council's cut back on meals?Related story: Shadbolt bemused by 'prince of gluttony' tag