The Big Bang stars want more money, and they'll probably get it
It started as a pretty late take on geek culture and ended up thrusting Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg into around 20 million American living rooms every week. Now, filming of the eighth season is delayed because they want more money. A statement from Warner Bros Television (WBTV) said: "Due to ongoing contract negotiations, production on The Big Bang Theory - which was originally scheduled to begin today - has been postponed."
Jim Parsons accepts his award for Critics' Choice Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series (Getty 2014/Kevin Winter)
Like many of American’s most popular sitcoms, looking back at the first season after eight or nine have flown by, it’s jarring. In the beginning, The Big Bang Theory didn’t really know what it was: Galecki’s Leonard Hofstadter was pinned as the show’s leading man; fumbling yet handsome, nerdy, lovable. But Parson’s Sheldon would soon take centre stage and thrust Leonard and Penny’s Ross & Rachel plotlines into the background.
The show also confirmed Chuck Lorre’s position as TV’s MVP; the showrunner L.A was meant to produce. The man has already worked TV’s most lucrative stars in Aston Kutcher and Jon Cryer with Two And a Half Men. Of course, it’s not up to him how much money his stars get. There are people at WBTV and people representing the actors who have done this before,” he explained of "This will work itself out. I think it's great; I want them all to be crazy wealthy because nobody deserves it more than this cast. It'll work out."
Deserve is probably a funny word, because it’s obvious to anyone who knows anything about anyone that no one ‘deserves’ $1m for an episode of scripted American comedy. But this is the world we live in, and in this current habitat, people like Galecki, Cuoco, Parsons, Nayyar and Helberg get what they want. As part of the most popular comedy on TV right now, they command a certain level of autonomy over their contracts, and you can bet CBS will give them what they ask for, or at least something dangerously close to that magical $1m per ep mark.