Thursday, September 28, 2006

Sheen set to become highest-paid sitcom star


LOS ANGELES, California (Hollywood Reporter) -- After two months of negotiations, "Two and a Half Men" star Charlie Sheen is close to finalizing a new salary pact that would make him the highest-paid comedy star in television today.

Sources said Sheen will earn about $350,000 per episode this season from producer of the CBS powerhouse, Warner Bros. Television. This represents a hefty increase from his previous payday in the low six figures.

Sources said CBS is kicking in some money for the pay raise for Sheen, as has become common practice for networks in high-level actor renegotiation deals.

Sheen also is known to have a significant profit-participation stake in the series, now in its fourth season. The top of the sitcom actor pay scale remains the nearly $2 million per episode Ray Romano pulled in for the final season of CBS' "Everybody Loves Raymond" in 2004-05.

Sheen began renegotiating his deal in July, shortly after Warner Bros. entered lucrative deals to sell the syndication rights to the Tribune Broadcasting stations (for broadcast) and to FX (for cable), effective 2010.

Representatives for Warner Bros., CBS and Sheen declined comment Wednesday. Warner Bros., like CNN, is a unit of Time Warner.