Sitcom The Big Bang Theory, the jewel in CBS' crown, is in jeopardy of being cancelled altogether just two weeks before the show is slated to go into production on its upcoming eighth season. The entire original cast is still without contracts and there appears no sign of a deal.
The Big Bang Theory could earn Warner Bros $3 billion
The situation is almost identical to the one in 2010, when salary negotiations concerning Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar affected the start of production. As Deadline notes, the difference this time is that in 2010, the cast had pre-existing contracts and were obliged to show up for work. This time around, the five stars are no longer contracted to the show. Currently, CBS has only Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik available for work.
Essentially, it means that if deals are not reached in two weeks production could be delayed, however, Warner Bros TV has a history of going down to the wire without big cast deals and conducted its business similarly during negotiations on Two and a Half Men.
Under their previous contracts, Galecki, Parsons and Cuoco earned around $350,000 an episode for Season 7 though with reports that Big Bang Theory could generated $3 billion for Warner Bros, new 'Friends' style salaries of $1 million per episode could be on the table. Eventually.
Big Bang Theory season 8 is due to go into production on July 30, 2014.