When it comes to “The Big Bang Theory,” there is going to be some drama happening behind the scenes to make sure that CBS can keep bringing you the laughs courtesy of our favorite geeks.
Here is a basic lowdown of the situation right now, as the cast prepares to ink a new contract to keep them on the show for at least an eighth season and possibly longer: This is the highest-rated comedy on television by a good distance, and it is also a monster in syndication with Warner Bros. making a ton of money from its various airings across broadcast and cable TV (where it airs on TBS). You may be shocked at the money, but everything is relative, and if we are looking at a gigantic pie here, then the actors deserve a sizable piece of it.
According to Deadline, the first move here is that Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch (who play Amy and Bernadette) have each signed new deals that will put their salaries at $60,000 an episode. This means that they will be looking at close to a million and a half for a 24-episode season, which is great for actors who joined the show during the run.
The challenge now comes with the other actors. Kunal Nayyar (Raj) and Simon Helberg (Howard) make $120,000 and $75,000 an episode right now, and they are expected to see a decent bump. Meanwhile, the three stars in Jim Parsons (Sheldon), Johnny Galecki (Leonard), and Kaley Cuoco (Penny) will probably negotiate as a unit and make more than $500,000 an episode each. Yep, that means that these three could earn as much as $12 million a season for playing characters on a sitcom.
Still, this is somewhat reasonable by hit-show standards. The cast of “Friends” were receiving $1 million each per episode at the time the show ended, and Ashton Kutcher is currently the highest-earning actor courtesy of his $750,000 for each “Two and a Half Men” episode.