The standoff over cast contracts on television’s most popular sitcom is over. Writing on Deadline.com, Nellie Andreeva reports that Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco have agreed to new three-year deals for CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory.”
That means it’s realistic that the show will make its new Aug. 6 date for the start of production on season eight. A table read is planned for that date.
“The deals for Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco came after marathon negotiations between ‘Big Bang’ producer Warner Bros TV and reps for the actors over the weekend, with Parsons’ pact closing first on Sunday, followed by … Galecki and Cuoco under ‘most favored nations’ terms, ensuring the trio have financial parity with each other,” Andreeva writes.
Warner Bros. wasn’t commenting for the story, and reps for the actors could not be reached.
“I hear the trio are in the long-rumored ‘Friends’ salary territory, scoring paychecks of $1 million per episode for the 72 episodes the show is slated to produce in Seasons 8-10. What’s more, I hear the door has been left open to a potential 11th season,” Andreeva notes.
She adds: “I also hear that the complex deals go well beyond per-episode fees and also include larger pieces of the show, signing bonuses, production deals and advances towards the back-end — perks associated with talent deals on shows as big as ‘Big Bang.’ In addition to tripling their most recent salaries of $350,000 an episode, I hear Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco also quadrupled their previous ownership on the show, which has gone up from 0.25 to more than a point. I hear Parsons’ pact includes a production deal that spans TV and features and possibly theater, with Galecki and Cuoco also getting producing arrangements. Galecki produced a comedy project for WBTV last season, ‘No Place Like Home,’ which went to pilot at Fox.”
The report says each of the three actors stands to make at least $90 million over the span of the new agreements. If the show holds up in syndication, that figure could go as high as $100 million.
“With the big payday for Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco and the windfall for top profit participants, WBTV still is expected to clear $1 billion in profits, with some projecting that ‘Big Bang’ could contribute to Time Warner’s bottom line twice that over its lifespan,” Andreeva reports.
Co-stars Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik are already signed for season eight, so the focus now shifts to the two remaining original cast members, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar.
Andreeva writes: “I hear the two are close and there is a possibility for them to reach new deals today, though there have been some bumps in the back and forth. The close friends, who raised their per-episode fee to more than $100,000 an episode in the 2010 renegotiations, are again negotiating together and had been looking to close the salary gap with fellow original cast members Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco. If Helberg and Nayyar close on time for the Wednesday table read, production on Season 8 will be only one week behind schedule, a delay that the actors and WBTV are hopeful they can make up later in the season so the order remains 24 episodes and is not trimmed to 23.”