Deadline is reporting that after a delay to begin filming season 8 of The Big Bang Theory, 3 of the stars of the show have finalized contracts that will see their salaries triple from $350,000/episode to $1 Million/episode for the next 72 episodes of the show. The sum draws immediate comparison to the cast of Friends, fitting seeing as The Big Bang Theory seems to be this generation’s iteration of the show, substituting New York yuppies with California nerds.
Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting are ensuring that they all will be paid equally for seasons 8, 9 & 1o and have left the option open for an 11th season. In addition to their per episode salary bump rumours are that they will also go from having 0.25 to 1+ point ownership in the show, as well as signing bonuses and production deals. Parson’s deal is reportedly for production including television, features and theatre. Which reflects his career choices as at this year’s Emmy Awards he is nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Miniseries or Movie with his role in The Normal Heart, the same role he made his Broadway debut in 2011 with.
Galecki was nominated for an Emmy in 2011 and a Golden Globe in 2012. Cuoco-Sweeting won a Critic’s Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2013. While Parsons has been nominated twice (2013/14) and won once (2011) at the Golden Globes, in addition to his 3 Emmy wins & another 3 Emmy nominations (2009-2014). The entire cast has been nominated for SAG Awards in Ensemble Comedy Series 2012 through 2014.
While the deal may seem enormous, with the possibility of only 3 cast members earning a potential $100 Million it’s still only a fraction of the estimated $1 Billion that Warner Brothers Television stands to make off the show.
Meanwhile Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar have yet to close their own deals. The two are negotiating together and plans are to finalize before production stars on Wednesday.