The Big Bang Theory was supposed to begin production for Season 8 today, but WBTV has announced that it has been post-posted due to a contract standoff with the actors.
Contracts with Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Simon Helbergand, and Kunal Nayyar all expired at the end of last season. So the main five actors are using this as an opportunity to renegotiate their pay.
Parson, Galecki and Cuoco currently earn $325,000 per episode, but due to the shows increasing popularity they are now looking to make somewhere around $1 million per episode, which is what the actors of Friends made during its final season.
The Big Bang Theory topped 20 million viewers a week during season 7 and is estimated to be worth $2 billion in profits.
While The Big Bang Theory is set to return Monday, September 22, with an hour premiere, fans are worried that the endless contract negotiations could delay the shows much anticipated return. There’s even been speculation that if an agreement is not reached there could be some recasting done.
However, Nina Tassler, CBS Chairman, assured, “We’re feeling very confident that everything will work out.”
Tassler, being no stranger to contract negotiations, added “These deals manage to get done miraculously somehow year after year.”
Co-creator and Executive Producer of The Big Bang Theory, Chuck Lorre, who is currently under contract, is also very confident in that negotiations will not cause any problems. “Warner Brothers has done this before. Everybody should be very successful and happy and rich. They earned it. It’s a great cast,” Lorre said.
The Big Bang Theory has already been renewed for three more seasons, so its future is CBS’s top priority. But with only actors Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik under contract, everyone is just taking it day by day for now.
Do you think that Parson, Galecki, and Cuoco should be earning $1 million per episode?