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It is that time of year again! The list of television's highest-paid actors has been revealed. In a move that will probably surprise few, familiar names from television's most popular shows populate the list, with CBS stars leading the way. Without further ado, let's dig into who made the Top 10:
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) - $26.5 million
Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory) - $25 million
Kunal Nayyar (tie) (The Big Bang Theory) - $23.5 million
Simon Helberg (tie) (The Big Bang Theory) - $23.5 million
Mark Harmon (NCIS) - $19 million
Ed O'Neill (Modern Family) - $14 million
Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) - $13.5 million
Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family) - $13 million
Ty Burrell (Modern Family) - $12 million
Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead) - $11 million
Jim Parsons tops co-star Johnny Galecki's Big Bang Theory paycheck by $1.5 million. The pay gap between The Big Bang Theory's highest-paid star and NCIS lead Mark Harmon is substantial. As in $7.5 million substantial. The difference in pay between Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar's Big Bang Theory paycheck and Harmon's is $4.5 million.
Also worth noting is that Mark Harmon is one of only two actors on the list to star in a drama, with The Walking Dead's Andrew Lincoln being the other. Everyone else stars in a comedy. Given the shake-ups around the corner, this list is destined for a significant shakeup of its own.
Ahead of its twelfth season premiere, The Big Bang Theory announced it would also be its last. So, the cast of the hugely popular sitcom will not be featured on the list much longer. Likewise, Andrew Lincoln is leaving The Walking Dead. Their impending exits will open up five slots on the list.
Four members from the cast of the ABC comedy Modern Family are on the list. That puts the show populating nearly 50% of the list. It is also the only ABC series with stars that made the cut. If and when Modern Family ends up joining The Big Bang Theory in ending, the list will shift even more.
What is also interesting is that comedies totally dominate television's list of highest-paid actors. So, while dramas such as The Walking Dead tend to dominate watercooler talk, television's paychecks tell another story.
With so many actors on the list preparing to say goodbye, it will be interesting to see who takes their place. Many of the stars appearing in this year's list star in television's fall premieres.