Jim Parsons and the stars of The Big Bang Theory have scored massive new salaries.
Kaley Cuoco, Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki have signed deals worth $1 million per episode to continue on The Big Bang Theory for an eighth, ninth and tenth season, tripling their current $350,000-an-episode salaries.
The cast of The Big Bang Theory have scored generous pay hikes
As the Hollywood Reporter notes, when the cast of Friends united to score $1 million per episode deals in 2012, the show was doing nearly 25 million viewers a week. Twelve years later, The Big Bang Theory generates about 20 million, with half the ratings of the NBC stalwart. Nevertheless, Cuoco, Parsons and Galecki teamed up with just weeks to go before the new season's production start date and CBS had to listen.
"The leverage was sitting with them," says Sam Armando, senior vp and director of strategic intelligence at media-buying firm SMGx. "This was the perfect scenario: It's the No. 1 [comedy] on the network and the No. 1 [comedy] on primetime, and CBS went to great lengths to talk about the value of the show beyond Thursday nights because of football."
Jim Parsons [L] in The Big Bang Theory
Thanks to his Emmy wins, Parsons received added incentives, though Cuoco and Galecki will also score producing pacts. All in all, the new deals could earn the stars $100 million each over three years, should Big Bang continue to perform on CBS and in syndication.
Elsewhere, supporting stars Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar also signed new deals to grant them 80 per cent of the salary of Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco. They will be taking home $1 million an episode come season 10. Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik closed new deals in September to earn roughly $60,000 per season, rising to $100,000 by season 10.
"The pot is as big or bigger than it was for Friends, and that's due to syndication rights and the amount of money you get per 30-second commercial," said Bob Williams, CEO at Burns Entertainment, which matches celebrities with brands.