Stars of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory just got an explosive pay raise.
After their contract negotiations collectively delayed production of the top-rated CBS comedy, actors Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco have each made three-year deals with Warner Bros. TV to return to the show. Co-stars Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar are still in talks, but they are expected to strike deals as well. Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch received raises back in September.
Sources say that estimates first reported by Deadline are correct: Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco’s salaries will jump from their current earnings of $350,000 per episode to roughly $1 million per episode. They’ll also receive a bigger cut of the show’s lucrative syndication earnings on TBS. The renewal deals bring the show’s core cast in line with the hit’s current CBS deal—Big Bang has been renewed for three more seasons, bringing the show to its 10th year.
For CBS, the show is extremely lucrative, delivering an estimated $326,260 per 30-second spot — the highest ad rate for a non-sports program on broadcast. The most-recent seventh season finished with a slight ratings increase on the previous season, averaging nearly 20 million weekly viewers among total audience.
The contract negotiations held up the show’s eighth-season production for one week; the cast was also absent from the show’s Comic-Con panel last month. Generally, Big Bang Theory runs 24 episodes per season, and it’s currently unclear whether that number will remain unchanged. Big Bang will re on Monday nights this fall starting Sept. 22, then will move back to Thursday nights starting Oct. 30.
So $24 million per year to shoot a half-hour show—an amount similar to what the cast of NBC’s Friends received at their record-setting peak. What do you think, is TBBT‘s cast worth it? Take our poll: