Ashton Kutcher took Charlie Sheen’s place on the hit TV show "Two and a Half Men," and now he’s taken Sheen’s place as the highest paid actor on television.
Forbes names Kutcher as the highest paid TV actor for earning $24 million between May 2011 and May 2012; just one year ago, Sheen topped the list earning a whopping $40 million.
The character, Charlie Harper, described as a “hedonistic jingle writer" is said to be loosely based on Sheen’s “bad boy” image. In early 2011, his erratic behavior in the media and reportedly also on set the set of Two and a Half Men caused CBS to release him from his contract.
Kutcher replaced Sheen on "Two and a Half Men" in its ninth season in late 2011; playing the role of Walden Schmidt, a naïve and hopeless romantic internet tycoon who moves into Charlie’s house after his death.
The show was described by a New York Times blog in 2011 as the "biggest hit comedy of the last decade;" audiences have clearly received Kutcher well, and the show continues to hold on to its hit status despite Sheen’s departure.
Second on the list is Hugh Laurie who earned $18 million from his epic final season of “House.”
Ray Romano also earned $18 million over the last year. While his show, “Men of a Certain Age” was canceled, Romano continues to collect royalties from “Everybody Loves Raymond” being in syndication.
Alec Baldwin and Mark Harmon come in third earning $15 million for their shows 30 Rock and NCIS respectively.
Tim Allen took home $14 million for his role on “Last Man Standing” earning him the fourth place spot on the list.
Jon Cryer, who plays Charlie’s brother, Allen Harper on "Two and a Half Men" also made it onto the Forbes' list, coming in at number five after earning $13 million in the last year.