Big Bang Theory fans can rest easy now that Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, and Johnny Galecki have reportedly officially signed new contracts with Warner Bros. TV for the next three years.
According to Deadline, marathon negotiations over the weekend eventually ended with a huge pay bump for all three of the actors. Though the studio declined to comment on the state of their contracts, reports say that the stars have officially crossed the $1-million-per-episode mark, entering the same long-rumored salary territory as the Friends cast.
The three central stars of the hit CBS sitcom have been negotiating their paychecks for the past several months, even after it was announced that the show received a rare three-season renewal, taking the series through season ten. Initially, CBS boss Nina Tassler and show creator Chuck Lorre seemed confident that the contract standoff would be resolved without a hitch, with Lorre even claiming he didn’t foresee the need to halt production on the coming episodes. Despite his prediction, production on season eight did end up being delayed after negotiations failed to come to an end by their originally scheduled start date of July 30.
With the closure of this recent deal, Parsons, Cuoco-Sweeting, and Galecki have reportedly not only tripled their most recent salaries of $350,000 per episode but also quadrupled their previous ownership on the show. All three stars also received signing bonuses, production deals, and more syndication back-end advances in their contracts.
With their new contracts in place, the three actors are poised to make at least $90 million over the next three years or even more, particularly if the show continues to be the success it has been over the last several seasons.
So where does this leave the rest of the cast? Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik, who weren’t series regulars at first, had already signed on to season eight after renegotiating their contracts last fall. The last two of the original cast members, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar, are still negotiating together, but are also reportedly close to reaching a deal. Per Deadline, the two will receive a raise from their previous $100,000 an episode paychecks as well,although it’s unlikely they’ll cross the seven-figure mark like their co-stars. If they manage to settle their contracts this week, production on season eight will pick up on Wednesday, only one week behind schedule.
Given the wide success of the show, it’s no surprise that the stars are getting the big pay bumps they were seeking. The Big Bang Theory has continued to bring in big ratings for CBS since its premiere and has solidified itself as one of the most watched comedy series in the world. During the 2012-2013 season, it held an average of 18.86 million viewers. Now, its eighth season is a big part of CBS’ fall lineup, with its premiere being used as an opener to one of the channel’s new dramas, Scorpion.
The show’s next season kicks off with an hour-long episode on September 22 before returning to Thursdays to lead the network’s comedy slate.