The Big Bang Theory could become a lot more expensive for Warner Brothers TV if the stars get their way.
As the seventh season of the hit CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory, the current contracts for the five main players - Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar – drew to a close. Under that agreement the stars were each receiving $350,000 per episode (or about $7.7 million a season based on 22 episode orders), and each had .25 percent ownership in the series residuals.
CBS made the bold move of renewing the series for three more seasons, and season 8 begins filming in two weeks, but currently none of the core five are locked in to return.
According to a report from Deadline, the holdup is over the new pay scale the five actors are looking for. Apparently each is looking for $1 million per episode along with an unknown increase in the residual share as well.
While this may sound like a crazy amount of money for stars to ask for, Warner Bros. TV recently sold the series at a price of $4 million per episode for reruns. The Big Bang Theory has become so huge globally that it is estimated the series will bring in somewhere around $3 billion over its lifetime and well into the future.
While I don’t begrudge the stars their paydays, it does always annoy me when people tend to forget that there are writers who are coming up with the words those people say. There are also lighting people who make sure they look their best. Hair. Make-up. Cameramen, boom operators and more. This series, or any other for that matter, is not successful just due to the people in front of the camera, and one would hope those behind it would also be seeing a substantial pay increase as well.
Should the contracts not be sealed in the next two weeks, filming could be delayed. While a short delay would not put the Sept. 22 premiere date of season 8 in jeopardy, a lengthy one indeed could.