The king of Sitcomland is... Charlie Sheen?

195942__sheen_l_1According to The Hollywood Reporter, the highest-paid sitcom star is going to be Charlie Sheen, about to sign a deal worth $350,000 per episode. That’s not Friends money (or Frasier or Everybody Loves Raymond money), but then, Two and a Half Men isn’t Friends.

In fact, no sitcom today is. EW’s lead news story in the new issue notes that only two of the top 30 shows last season were comedies, and several TV insiders discuss why the genre is at what looks like an all-time low. (Short answer: It’s the writing, stupid! Oh, and the economics.) Don’t worry, though, that Sheen won’t earn enough to cover his alimony payments; he’s got a piece of the back end, too, which means syndication and DVD rights could earn him another $50 to $60 million.
Two questions, then: First, how come no similar love for Jon Cryer? He got demoted to supporting actor at the Emmys, too, but his part is as big as Sheen’s. Second, does Sheen really deserve to be the top-earning sitcom star? Yeah, his show is TV’s most-watched comedy, but let’s imagine for a moment that TV salaries were based on merit. Who, then, would deserve top pay? Jason Lee? Julia Louis-Dreyfus? Steve Carell? (Maybe, but The Office is such an ensemble show that one would hope for a profit-sharing plan at Dunder-Mifflin.) Who, then?


Comments (39 total) Add your comment
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  • mark in nyc

    It’s like you can hear the final nail in the coffin for the traditonal three camera sitcom. If this is the best they can do Hollywood writers might as well call it quits.

  • paige

    no i dont think he deserves to be the highest paid… i dont know should be though…

  • LuLu

    No, no, no. Too much money for horrid acting. Bad investment in Sheen.

  • Ed

    I’ve tried to watch this show before and found it so unfunny. Charlie’s character is soo unfunny.
    Anyway, it’s all about dramah now, nobody wants to laugh much these days. I just started watching Grey’s Anatomy, first season on DVD and now I’m hooked.
    The Class, is a big disappointment, I’m earasing it from my TIVO list after this weekend. This topic is boring me now, I’m out (in more ways than one).

  • Dave

    I don’t think he’s the best sitcom actor on TV, not by a long shot (see: The Office, My Name is Earl, Old Christine, How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock, etc.). However, his show is the highest rated comedy on TV, consistently wins its time slot, and generates lots of ad revenue for CBS. CBS pays Warner Bros. (the show’s producer) who, in turn, pays Sheen (with a little help from CBS). Given the economics of the industry, then, it’s not surprising that Sheen is now the highest paid sitcom actor on TV.


    Is Sitcomland a place with lots of drugs and hookers? Then I guess Charlie is the king.

  • Jim

    No one I know or work with admit to watching this horribly unfunny show.. I think CBS pads their #’s somehow by having nielsen boxes in a lab somwhere attached to TV’s that are always tuned into CBS to see how long it will take for a monkey to become comatose after repeated viewings of horrible programming.

  • Dana

    I think he should get as much money out of this run as possible, once people realize he’s pretty much the worst actor on the face of the earth. He’s gonna need that money to keep him going till his golden years.
    Word of advice for sheen: don’t spend it all in one place, you’re gonna need it.

  • will Holston

    I say good riddance to the traditional sitcom……a show doesn;t need a laugh track if it’s actually funny. I know there are some shows in the past in which the laugh track worked (Seinfeld, Friends, etc…) but the new day has come! My Name is Earl, The Office…stuff like THIS is where I get my funny on.

  • Nose

    I know he was the biggest name on the show, but he is not the star of the show. The show is, at best, an ensemble show, with the housekeeper stealing every scene she is in. Give HER a raise, dammit!
    I have only ever seen this show a couple of times, and frankly, I couldn’t even watch Charlie Sheen’s character. He is so inherently unlikeable…he isn’t the bad guy who you root for, he is just a jerk.

  • cj

    charlie has steve carrell’s money GIVE IT BACK!

  • Anna

    Bleh, Steve Carell still owes me $8.50 and what felt like 5 hours for that piece of crap movie The 40 Year Old Virgin. I absolutely refuse to watch The Office as long as he’s on it. I’d say the cast of Scrubs deserves to make the most but at this point I’d be happy if they could just get on the schedule. So I guess my vote goes to Jason Lee.

  • Maria

    Him? He makes that much? Seriously? What a travesty! Either Zach Braff or Steve Carell deserve that much. But not the star of Two and A Half Men.

  • Ally

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! This is exactly what’s wrong with HOLLYWOOD!!! All Sheen does is mug at the camera waiting for the laugh track to come on and repeating LAME LAME LAME writing!!! How is this the most watched comedy? IT’S NOT FUNNY!

  • Jar Jar Binks

    Mesa tinkin’ dat deysa should be payin’ more money to Jar toosa! Mesa more funny den Bombad Heidi Fleiss messin’ Charlie Sheen!

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