The five original cast members of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ are reportedly showing solidarity with newer stars Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch, opting to take a pay cut in order to give them both raises ahead of negotiations for an expected two-season renewal.
Jim Parsons (Sheldon), Johnny Galecki (Leonard), Kaley Cuoco (Penny), Simon Helberg (Howard) and Kunal Nayyar (Raj) are reported by Variety to have made the gesture while the entire cast is in negotiations over new contracts. However, the report also indicates that Bialik (Amy) and Rauch (Bernadette) are seeking pay parity with their five co-stars.
'The Big Bang Theory' stars are currently in contract negotations
The five original stars currently earn around $1 million per episode, but have agreed to earn $100,000 less each per episode in an anticipated 11th and 12th season, which is widely expected to be approved by CBS.
That $500,000 figure would then be split between Bialik and Rauch, who currently earn around $200,000 per episode, bringing them to about $450,000 each – essentially, half of what their co-stars earn, rather than a fifth.
Both stars, who joined as cast regulars in season four in 2010 having been introduced in the previous series, have become integral to the show.
Currently in the middle of its tenth season, another renewal would see ‘The Big Bang Theory’, created by Chuck Lorre, become the longest-running scripted sitcom in American television history (a record currently held by ‘Frasier’, which ran for 11 seasons).
CBS has previously expressed confidence that primetime’s most successful comedy would get the go-ahead. “We’ll put it on for as long as everyone wants ‘TBBT’ on the air,” said network chief Glenn Geller in August last year. “I hope it lasts forever.”
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