'Big Bang Theory' Stars Take Pay Cut to Give Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch Raises
While it was reported before that "The Big Bang Theory" was close to getting a two-season renewal, the deal isn't sealed yet. According to Variety, the last hurdle to this is setting a new contract with Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch, who seek pay raises.
While the five original cast members of the show, Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg, have reportedly agreed to take a small pay cut to help Bialik and Rauch get raises, reps for both actresses are said to be pushing for pay parity with their co-stars.
Bialik and Rauch make just $200,000 per episode with their current contract. Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco have been paid $1 million per episode since 2014. Meanwhile, in their last contract renewal cycle, Nayyar and Helberg secured raises that brought their salaries to seven figures, like Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco.
The original cast members agreed to take a $100,000 cut in salary for season 11 and 12 to free up $500,000 to fund raises for their co-stars when they renewed their contracts late last year. If Bialik and Rauch split the $500,000 from their co-stars, both will get a raise to nearly $450,000 per episode.
The negotiations reportedly just began this week, but it could be long before they reach a deal if reps for Bialik and Rauch hold firm for parity.
"The Big Bang Theory", which airs Thursdays at 8 P.M. ET on CBS, is currently still the No. 1 comedy in primetime.
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