For the cast of CBS’s hit show “The Big Bang Theory” a tug-of-war over salary negotiations had stalled production for the show. Now, word has it that stars Jim Parsons (Sheldon,) Johnny Galecki (Leonard) and Kaley Cuoco (Penny) have reached an agreement for their new three-year deals. Stars Simon Helberg (Howard) and Kunal Nayyar (Raj) are still in negotiations, but an agreement is expected to be reached sometime this week. Warner Bros. Television declined to comment.
The show was renewed for three seasons, which will bring its total to 10. It is expected to resume production on Wednesday after a one-week delay that occurred when the five lead actors refused to work without new deals. (Their contracts expired in May.)
The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco were each earning $325,000 per episode, but now they have likely secured about $1 million for each show including a cut of the show’s backend performance royalties.
Co-stars Mayim Bialik (Amy) and Melissa Rauch (Bernadette) have already signed a new contract with both expecting to earn big raises coming this September.
At this time, it isn’t known whether the one-week delay will result in a reduced episode count for the upcoming season. Typically, for “The Big Bang Theory,” there are 24 shows taped each season with a three week time frame to complete each episode.
With the show being television’s No. 1 comedy since the 2010-2011 season, the cast has considerable leverage in negotiations. On TBS, the show is also a hit in syndication. The program has been nominated again for an Emmy for best comedy series, but has yet to take the title home. In addition, Jim Parsons has been nominated for a seventh Emmy for his starring role as Sheldon Cooper. (He has taken home three.)
A favorite at San Diego’s Comic-Con, the cast was again a no-show for a second year in a row.
Showrunner Steve Molaro inked his first three-year overall deal with WBTV, and co-creator and executive producer Chuck Lorre is also under contract with the studio. CBS was eager to secure “The Big Bang Theory” for its’ ratings as well as being a good lead into fledgling programs.
Lorre did not see a problem with the negotiations. He went on to tell THR.
“There are people at Warner Brothers Television and people representing the actors who have done this before. This will work itself out. I think it’s great; I want them all to be crazy wealthy because nobody deserves it more than this cast. It’ll work out.”