The Big Bang Theory Season 11 is almost confirmed to return this fall with the original cast members. Big Bang Theory stars Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar are reportedly close to signing their new two-year contracts.
The current contracts of all the series regulars are up for renewal after The Big Bang Theory Season 10 ends in May. They previously signed a three-year contract in 2014. At the time, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, and Johnny Galecki had secured a massive pay hike, which raised their salaries to a whopping $1 million per episode from $325,000 per episode. This time, the Big Bang Theory lead actors, however, are unlikely to get a raise, according to The Hollywood Reporter (THR).
Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, and Johnny Galecki are expected to continue receiving $1 million per episode for the next two seasons of The Big Bang Theory. On the other hand, if Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg sign their new contracts, they will be taking home salaries on par with what the trio has been making since Season 8.
“Insiders note that Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco would remain in the $1 million per episode range, with Helberg and Nayyar also being bumped up to the show’s top tier.”
Deadline too reported that the five original cast members of The Big Bang Theory would be getting the same pay under “the most favored nations” terms. Moreover, according to the report, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar, who had earned less than Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, and Johnny Galecki through most of the series run, reached pay parity in the current season. They are currently getting salaries quite close to the seven-digit mark.
Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik, who joined the series as guest stars in Season 3 and were upped to series regulars in Season 4, are also renegotiating their contracts. The actresses, who are currently making $175,000 per episode, are expected to get a hefty pay hike as they have become integral cast members of The Big Bang Theory.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros. TV, the production house, and broadcaster CBS are also close to finalizing two-season license agreement, which will ensure the series runs through 12 seasons.
During CBS’ fourth-quarter earnings call, Leslie Moonves, chairman and CEO of the company, said that they were “very, very close” to ink new deal for The Big Bang Theory, Variety reported.
Unlike the previous license agreements, the new CBS’ deal would no longer cover all the production costs, according to Variety. Also, the Big Bang Theory Season 11 and Season 12 episodes might not generate substantial revenues because of the syndication issues and the possibility that TBS and other television stations may decide not to order additional episodes. It is likely that because of these reasons, the five originals stars of Big Bang Theory, including Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, and Johnny Galecki, are not getting a big raise this year.
“All of this meant that there was not much incentive for Warner Bros. to give the five actors big salary hikes beyond their current $1 million paychecks.”
Earlier in January, during the TCA winter press tour, CBS entertainment president Glenn Geller said that they were “guardedly optimistic” about The Big Bang Theory getting renewed for Season 11 and beyond. He also said that they would want all the cast members back.
The Big Bang Theory continues to generate high viewership for CBS, and it is the highest-rated comedy series on television. CBS is hoping to get similar success with the series prequel titled Sheldon, which focuses on Sheldon’s (Jim Parsons) formative years. Parson is executive producing the spinoff that will follow a younger version of his character.
CBS and the cast members have yet to confirm The Big Bang Theory Season 11.
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