Ashton Kutcher, Jon Cryer top Forbes’ highest-paid TV actors list

Jon Cryer, left, and Ashton Kutcher of "Two and a Half Men" have been named TV's highest-paid actors of 2013 by Forbes.
(Adam Rose / CBS)

Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer, stars of the CBS comedy “Two and a Half Men,” have been named the highest-paid TV actors of 2013 by Forbes magazine.

Despite flagging viewership as of late, the show makes most of its dough in syndication, which keeps its male stars -- old and new -- in the magazine’s top 10. Besides syndication, most of the actors on the list have some meager box-office bucks that helped boost their totals this year.

The magazine calculates the earnings by speaking with producers, managers, agents and other individuals in the industry to figure out how much the actors made through their entertainment-related endeavors between June 2012 and June 2013, Forbes said.

Kutcher, 35, who stepped in for embattled star Charlie Sheen in 2011, earned $24 million, the magazine estimated. The actor earned the same honor last year, when he also reportedly earned $24 million. Sheen topped the list in 2011, when he earned an estimated $40 million, but still has a place in the No. 10 spot this year due to his comeback on the FX comedy “Anger Management.”


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Kutcher, an alum of “That ‘70s Show,” has also been working on his film career, starring as his “hero” Steve Jobs in “Jobs,” the biopic about the Apple co-founder, which was released this summer but earned only $16 million at the box office. But Kutcher’s paycheck has been boosted by his passion for investing. The scruffy-faced actor has stakes in tech companies such as Airbnb, Foursquare and Path, the financial mag said.

Kutcher and his girlfriend, Mila Kunis, also made the magazine’s list of top-earning couples, clinching the No. 4 spot by earning a combined $35 million between June 2012 and June 2013.

However, Kutcher barely holds a candle to “Modern Family’s” Sofia Vergara, who was named TV’s highest-paid actress in September, and earned an estimated $30 million, thanks to a major boost in her salary and endorsement deals with Diet Pepsi, CoverGirl, Rooms to Go, Comcast, State Farm Insurance and thyroid medicine Synthroid.

Kutcher’s costars Cryer, 48, and Angus T. Jones, 20, also made the list, locking in the No. 2 and No. 7 spots respectively. Two-time Emmy winner Cryer made about $21 million, and Jones made $11 million. Jones was downgraded from series regular earlier this year after he made a video that went viral on YouTube in which he called the show “filth” and beseeched fans to stop watching it. Even though he has been replaced by Amber Tamblyn, who plays Sheen’s character’s long-lost daughter, he’s still earning cash from the show’s run in syndication.

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Ray Romano, 55, also has syndication to be grateful for, even though the comedian’s cash cow went off the air in 2005. The “Everybody Loves Raymond” actor came in at No. 3 on the magazine’s list, earning $16 million, thanks to his sitcom’s reruns, his stint as a crotchety photographer on NBC’s “Parenthood” and his voiceover work in the “Ice Age” franchise.

“How I Met Your Mother” star Neil Patrick Harris, 40, placed at No. 4 with $15 million in estimated earnings. The triple threat and award show host extraordinaire made his moolah this year as ultimate playboy Barney Stinson in the CBS comedy and for his role in “The Smurfs 2.”

“NCIS” star Mark Harmon, 62, tied Harris in fourth place, thanks to his role on CBS’ highly-rated procedural. Harmon is said to have earned $15 million as well.

Below is the complete list of Forbes’ highest-paid TV actors of 2013. For more on how they made their money, click here.

1. “Two and Half Men” star Ashton Kutcher, $24 million

2. “Two and Half Men” star Jon Cryer, $21 million

3. “Everybody Loves Raymond” star and “Parenthood” actor Ray Romano, $16 million

4. “How I Met Your Mother” star Neil Patrick Harris” and “NCIS” star Mark Harmon, $15 million

6. “Grey’s Anatomy” star Patrick Dempsey, $13 million

7. “Last Man Standing” and “Home Improvement” star Tim Allen and “Two and a Half Men” star Angus T. Jones, $11 million

9. “Dexter” star Michael C. Hall and “Two and a Half Men” alum/"Anger Management” star Charlie Sheen, $10 million


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