Jim Parsons has been named the highest-earning TV star of 2015.

The Big Bang Theory star topped the Forbes list with earnings of US$29 million (NZ$45m) for his role as Sheldon Cooper whilst his co-star Johnny Galecki - who plays Dr Leonard Hofstadter - earned US$27 million (NZ$42m).

NCIS star Mark Harmon placed equally third on the list, alongside Jim's co-stars Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayya, as well as Two and a Half Men actor Ashton Kutcher, with all of them earning US$20 million each.

Two And A Half Men star Jon Cryer placed seventh, equally with Everybody Loves Raymond's Ray Romano, despite the last series ending in 2005.

Big earner: Jim Parsons in the Big Bang Theory. Photo / CBS
Big earner: Jim Parsons in the Big Bang Theory. Photo / CBS

The Mentalist's

Simon Baker and

Grey's Anatomy's

Patrick Dempsey earned $12 million each, completing the top ten.

The news that The Big Bang Theory stars dominate the list won't surprise fans as it was recently revealed the three main characters - played by Jim, Johnny and Kaley Cuoco - are reportedly being paid US$1 million per episode for their part in the show.

A source said at the time: "[They will get] larger pieces of the show, signing bonuses, production deals and advances towards the back-end."

Bosses also reportedly spoke to Simon and Kunal to ensure their paycheques were brought more in line with that of the three main characters.

Forbes' Highest-Earning TV Actors of 2015

1. Jim Parsons, US$29 million
2. Johnny Galecki, US$27 million
3= Mark Harmon, US$20 million
3= Simon Helberg, US$20 million
3= Kunal Nayya, US$20 million
3= Ashton Kutcher, US$20 million
7= Jon Cryer, US$15 million
7= Ray Romano, US$15 million
9= Simon Baker, US$12 million
9= Patrick Dempsey, US$12 million


- Bang! Showbiz