Jim Parsons and The Big Bang Theory castmates top Forbes' highest-paid TV actors in the world list

Olivia Blair
Saturday 24 September 2016 16:20 BST

All four of the leading men from The Big Bang Theory are the highest-paid actors on television in 2016.

Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon in the hit series, comes out in top position for the second year in a row after accumulating an estimated $25.5 million (£19.7 million) over the past year, according to Forbes.

His castmates, Johnny Galecki (Leonard), Simon Helberg (Howard) and Nayyar Kunal (Raj) take up the next three places.

The Big Bang Theory cast made headlines two years ago after reportedly doing a Friends and negotiating $1million per episode for Parsons, Galecki and their female co-star Kaley Cuoco.

Forbes’ annual list of actors shows that the gender pay gap is narrower for actors and actresses on TV rather than in film where Dwayne Johnson's earnings of $64.5million hugely outweigh the highest-paid actress Jennifer Lawrence's earnings of $46million.

The list of highest-paid actresses, which was announced last week has Cuoco in second place with an annual earning of $24.5 million. The leading lady was Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara who earned an estimated $43million last year thanks in part to her numerous endorsements and licensing deals.

Madeline Berg, a spokesperson for Forbes previously told the Independent: “The gender wage gap between men and women on television is smaller than it is on film, as ensemble casts tend to negotiate their contracts together: Sofia Vergara makes the same amount as her male counterparts on Modern Family, for example, and Kaley Cuoco makes $1million per episode of the Big Bang Theory just like Jim Parsons.

The leading actors from Modern Family, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed O’Neill and Eric Stonestreet also made the top 15.

However, the wage gap still persists with the combined wealth of all 15 men on the list being $225 million, whereas it is $208.5million for the highest-paid actresses.

Forbes calculates the earnings based on data as well as interviews with agents, managers, lawyers and industry insiders. All earnings estimated are before management fees and taxes.

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