Contract negotiations have not gone smoothly for the highest-rated comedy series on television. Writing on Deadline.com, Nellie Andreeva reports that CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory,” which is scheduled to begin production on its eighth season July 30, still doesn't have contracts with its cast.
“I hear the two sides are still far apart and there has been little dialogue,” Andreeva writes.
The situation is similar to what happened in 2010, when Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar were about to go into production while in discussions with Warner Bros. TV about pay raises, Andreeva notes.
But at that time, all the actors had contracts and were required to show up for work while they negotiated higher salaries. This time around, none of the original stars have deals, with their previous contracts expiring at the end of last season.
The newest cast members, Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik, are the only actors who currently have agreements in place, after the two actresses renegotiat ed their deals last fall.
“That means that, if new deals with the Original Five are not reached in the next two weeks, production on Season 8 may be pushed," Andreeva writes. "I hear that even if ‘Big Bang’ doesn’t start start production until after Labor Day, it still is expected to be able to deliver an hourlong season premiere for September 22, but insiders do not think things would go that far."
Andreeva adds: “Warner Bros. TV is known for going down to the wire but being able to close big cast deals on time, including multiple negotiations on ‘Two and a Half Men.’”
In their previous contracts, Galecki, Parsons and Cuoco earned about $350,000 per episode, but with the continued success of the show, it’s possible they “could go into ‘Friends’ territory with new salaries in the neighborhood of $1 million per episode, plus a bigger piece of the backend,” the report adds.
"The Big Bang Theory"