Charlie Sheen, Mariska Hargitay Among TV’s Highest Paid Stars

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CBS

Charlie Sheen is at the top of the scripted TV heap, according to TV Guide.

The mag reported that the "Two and a Half Men" star takes home $875,000 an episode for his role as Charlie Harper on the CBS sitcom.

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Last year, "Sopranos" star James Gandolfini led the pack with a whopping $1 million an episode for the final season of the HBO mob drama.

Among the rest of TV's highest paid men in 2009 are "24" star Keifer Sutherland ($550,000 an episode), "House" doctor Hugh Laurie ($400,000) and Christopher Meloni of "Law & Order: SVU" ($400,000).

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Lower down on the list were such stars as "30 Rock's" Alec Baldwin ($300,000), "Grey's Anatomy's" McDreamy, Patrick Dempsey ($250,000) and "Mad Men" main man Jon Hamm, who earns $75,000 per episode – just above "Gossip Girl" star Chace Crawford ($50,000).

On the ladies' side, Christopher Meloni's "Law & Order: SVU" counterpart brings home top dollar – along with a quartet of successful "Housewives."

Mariska Hargitay earns $400,000 an episode for her role as Detective Olivia Benson on NBC's "SVU," tying her with four "Desperate Housewives" stars – Eva Longoria Parker, Teri Hatcher, Marica Cross and Felicity Huffman.

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TV's other highest-paid women include "30 Rock" creator Tina Fey ($300,000) and "The Closer's" Kyra Sedgwick ($275,000).

However, actors aren't the only ones in TV land with serious paychecks. Among the stars of late night, CBS' David Letterman earns $32 million a year, outdistancing the salary of any actor – and also his NBC competitors, Jay Leno ($30 million) and Conan O'Brien ($14 million). And a number of newscasters are also top earners, led by Katie Couric at $15 million a year and Matt Lauer at $13 million.

And in the world of reality, generally bargain rates compared to scripted television, some stars still earn paychecks to write home about. Ryan Seacrest earns $15 million a year for his "American Idol" hosting duties, while reality stars such as former couple Jon and Kate Gosselin take home $75,000 an episode for TLC's "Jon & Kate Plus 8." No word yet if that number may shift in November, when the show relaunches as a Jon-free "Kate Plus 8."

(AH NATION: Who do you think are primetime TV's most overpaid stars? CLICK HERE to let your voice be heard!)

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