Los Angeles: Indian origin actor Kunal Nayyar and his co-stars from hit comedy series “The Big Bang Theory” – Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Simon Helberg are leading the Forbes annual list of television’s highest-paid actors.
For the second year in a row, Parsons is on the top spot, with a USD 25.5 million income earned between June 1, 2015 and June 1, 2016 which he once again got from his lucrative “The Big Bang Theory” contract. This is not surprising considering reports that Parsons and his co-star Galecki earn USD 1 million per episode each.
Galecki is at No. 2 with USD 24 million, followed by Helberg with USD 22.5 million and Nayyar, who is at No. 4 with USD 22 million. While Helberg and Nayyar earn slightly less than Parsons and Galecki, their side projects helped them secure the spots in the top five. Helberg had a role in “Florence Foster Jenkins” starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, while Nayyar is an author of best-selling memoir “Yes, My Accent Is Real”.
“NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service” star Mark Harmon places fifth with another USD 20 million. His show was the third-most watched television program in the 2015-2016 season, behind the Super Bowl and “The Big Bang Theory”.
David Duchovny cracked the list with USD 10 million, thanks largely to his return as Fox Mulder on “The X-Files” revival. He is tied in the 13th place along with Michael Weatherly, who earned the money from his stint on “NCIS”. He recently left the show to headline a new CBS series, “Bull”.
Other names in the top 15 include “Modern Family” stars Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed O’Neill and Eric Stonestreet.