The three main cast members of the CBS sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” have signed a new three-year contract with Warner Bros. Television that will give them a million-dollar paycheck for each episode, media reports said Tuesday.
Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons reportedly signed the deal after holding up production of the show over a salary negotiation. Now, production on the eighth season is expected to begin Wednesday, after the week-long delay. According to reports, which cited anonymous sources, the supporting cast of Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar have also signed a new agreement, and all five principal actors will receive a bigger cut of syndication revenues from the hugely popular show.
The new contracts for the three lead actors, which will last through Season 10 of the series, is close to the amount given to the six cast members of “Friends,” and will make them the highest-paid actors on television. Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco had been reportedly receiving $350,000 for each episode under the previous contract, which ended this year.
"It will be fine," creator Chuck Lorre told E! News, earlier this month, adding: "Warner Bros. has done this before. Everybody should be very successful and happy and rich. They earned it. It's a great cast. It's their time."
In 2010, Charlie Sheen had received $1.8 million for each episode of “Two and a Half Men,” while Ray Romano made $1.7 million on every episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Currently, Ashton Kutcher receives $755,000 for every episode of “Two and a Half Men” while his co-star Jon Cryer earns $600,000.
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Last year, “The Big Bang Theory” attracted an average of 21.3 million viewers per episode and is one of the highest-rated comedies in the U.S. Season 8 of the series is expected to begin on Monday, Sept. 22, and will reportedly take over its Thursday slot from October.