Charlie Sheen has been named the highest paid US TV actor of 2009.

The Two And A Half Men star earns $825,000 (£496,000) per episode, including income from his ownership rights in the comedy, according to TV Guide Magazine.

William Petersen, who plays Gil Grissom on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, is the second highest paid, earning $600,000 (£361,000) an episode.

He is followed by Kiefer Sutherland who earns $550,000 (£330,000) for every episode of 24 – making his annual earning from the TV show almost £8 million.

Fox programming boss Kevin Reilly has further fuelled speculation that the upcoming season of 24 will be the last.

He told the New York Post: “It’s going to come down to a business decision. It’s not an inexpensive show on the network books and we also want to finish strong. This is not a show we want to prop up.

“We haven’t made any decision whether it’s back or not.”

Law and Order’s Mariska Hargitay was named the highest paid TV actress, earning $400,000 (£240,000) per show.

TV Guide editor Craig Tomashoff said: “Sheen and Petersen are at the very top of their game and are the best at what they do, you’d expect them to be at the top of the scale.”

British actor Hugh Laurie was also named in the list of top TV earners, taking home £242,000 an episode for House.

The magazine also revealed the cast of The Simpsons earn $400,000 (£240,000) per episode, while American Idol judge Simon Cowell earns $50 million (£30 million) for one season of the talent show.