Simon Cowell is the highest earner on American TV, with expected earnings of $75 million per season of 'The X Factor'.
The media mogul - who will launch the US version of his reality TV show later this year - will reportedly pocket $75 million per season on the programme, including his fee as producer, far surpassing
that of his fellow judges Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul, who will take home $1.5 million and $2.5 million respectively, though TV Guide magazine has not released the earnings of fourth panellist La Reid.
The 33-year-old actor - who replaced Charlie Sheen in the show after he was fired from his role as Charlie Harper earlier this year - earns $700,000 an episode and while it is considerably less than Charlie's $1.2 million, Ashton makes more than his closest competitors.
British actor Hugh Laurie is the best paid actor in a TV drama, making $700,000 per episode for his role as grumpy doctor Gregory House in 'House'.
Other high earners include Mariska Hargitay, who is paid $395,000 per 'Law & Order: SVU' episode, 'Jersey Shore' star Snooki who is paid $100,000 per show and Blake Lively, who makes $60,000 for each 'Gossip Girl' episode.
The figures also showed how well paid many US talk show hosts are, with David Letterman ($28 million), Kelly Ripa ($20 million) Jay Leno ($25 million) among the highest earners, trailed by Conan O'Brien ($10 million) and CNN journalist Anderson Cooper ($11 million).