The Big Three main stars of The Big Bang Theory, Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco are holding out for more money, reportedly $1 million per episode. They are also looking for an increase in the share of the profits they receive from the series. Currently, the Big Three of The Big Bang Theory earn 0.25 percent of the profits. Until the contract negotiations are resolved, Warner Brothers TV has had to delay production of the eighth season of the popular series.
Have no fear, fans of The Big Bang Theory! There is little doubt that the pending contract negotiations will be resolved and that all of the current cast members will be back. The question is really more one of when the negotiations will be resolved, not if they will, at least if past history can be used to judge the outcome.
After all, The Big Bang Theory is a huge money maker for CBS. Its earnings are second only to those of NFL Football for CBS. A 30-second commercial spot on The Big Bang Theory costs advertisers $326,260. Unless the the main stars decided to demand some extremely outlandish figure, like $10 million an episode, they will likely get whatever they are asking for…eventually.
Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons are currently earning $325,000 an episode, according to Entertainmentwise. That amount is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but they believe that their contributions to the success of The Big Bang Theory warrants their asking for $1 million apiece for each episode.
If the trio have their salaries increased and they get $1 million for each episode, Kaley Cuoco, 28, will begin earning even more than TV’s currently highest paid actress, Sofia Vegara of Modern Family. Cuoco already earns more than Vegara’s base pay of $175,000 per episode, but that is not counting the money that Sofia makes from doing other endorsements. According to Forbes, from June 2012 to June 2013, Vegara reportedly earned $30 million altogether, counting these endorsements.
Two and a Half Men‘s star, Ashton Kutcher, is one of TV’s highest paid actors. He reportedly took in $24 million last season. Two and a Half Men is another popular CBS series, though its next season will be its last one.
While production on the eighth season of The Big Bang Theory was supposed to begin on Wednesday, its season premiere date is not until September 22. The series is the highest rated one on CBS.
The network has made a long-term commitment to The Big Bang Theory, having renewed it in 2013 for three more seasons. A tremendous amount of its success is due to the Big Three main stars of The Big Bang Theory, Galecki, Parsons and Cuoco. It is doubtful that CBS will do anything that could potentially lead to lessened earnings, like canning any of the cast members who are holding out for more money.
Other shows in which the cast held out for more money and got what they asked for includes Seinfeld, Friends, Modern Family, The Simpsons…and The Big Bang Theory. Previously, in 2010, the cast of The Big Bang Theory also askeded to be paid more money and the network met their demands. CBS agreed to raise the pay of the three main stars from $60,000 to $200,000 an episode.
According to Deadline.com, Warner Brothers has, for now, set production on The Big Bang Theory to begin on Wednesday, August 6. If the series does start production next Wednesday, perhaps it is a sign that Warner Brothers has been notified by CBS that headway is being made in renegotiating the contracts of the Big Three.
Simon Helberg (Howard Wolowitz) and Kunal Nayyar (Rajesh Koothrappali) are also at the table and are in the process of renegotiating their contracts. Their contracts, like those of the Big Three, ran out last season. In 2010, they renegotiated their contracts and had the amount of money they earned per episode raised to $100,000.
They would like to have their salaries raised so that they are more in line with the contracts of the Big Three. Melissa Rauch (Bernadette Wolowitz) and Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler) are available to start production immediately, as they both already went through contract negotiations in the fall of 2013.
The Big Three cast members of The Big Bang Theory want the amount of money they are currently making per episode raised to $1 million. CBS is not about to tell the advertisers that they have already lined up that contract negotiations have failed and the show has been cancelled. Doing so would be a public relations disaster and it would potentially cost CBS millions of dollars. The Big Bang Theory will begin production soon, possibly as soon as next Wednesday.
Written By Douglas Cobb