Big Bang Theory millionaire cast members are taking a pay cut to close the gender pay gap, at least for their two female co-stars, according to Marie Claire.
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With contract negotiations underway for future seasons of The Big Bang Theory, the hit CBS show’s cast members Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar, and Simon Helberg are offering to take a pay cut to ensure that their female co-stars Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch get raises.
While many describe it as a “wonderful” and “generous” gesture, that offer from the five lead cast members will cost them only $100,000 from their huge $1 million fee per Big Bang Theory episode. And it’s not like Bialik and Rauch couldn’t afford a Lamborghini Huracán for each Big Bang Theory episode, as they both earn an impressive $200,000 per 20-minute episode for their relatively small roles.
If CBS agrees to renew Bialik and Rauch for Seasons 11 and 12 of The Big Bang Theory, both actresses will receive up to $450,000 per episode. That’s quite a pay bump for an actor spending a few minutes of screen time per episode at most.
Bialik portrays Sheldon’s (played by Emmy-winning Parsons) girlfriend Amy on The Big Bang Theory, while Rauch plays Bernadette, who recently gave birth to a baby with Howard, played by Helberg.
Big Bang Theory arrives with all new episodes on Season 11 in September 2017.
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CBS is apparently doing really well. On top of paying $1 million per episode to Big Bang Theory leads, the network is investing in the comedy sitcom’s prequel Sheldon, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
While CBS has yet to confirm an official pilot order for Sheldon, it has already cast Big Little Lies actor Iain Armitage to play the young version of Sheldon Cooper and Scandal actress Zoe Perry to portray his mother, Mary Cooper. While CBS and Warner Bros. Television have yet to comment on the new additions to the Big Bang Theory prequel’s cast, it was earlier confirmed that the prequel will be written by the original show’s co-creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady as well as Steve Molaro.
The Big Bang Theory prequel will revolve around the childhood of Sheldon, and sources have previously described the upcoming comedy show as Malcolm in the Middle but with a young version of Parsons’s character in the lead role. Interestingly, none of the original Big Bang Theory cast members have been attached to acting roles on Sheldon, though Parsons will serve as an executive producer. Does it mean that CBS couldn’t afford to pay those massive fees to the original actors for two projects at once?
While Parsons’ fees for his executive producer duties haven’t been revealed yet, the Big Bang Theory prequel will be a single-camera show, while the original CBS show is a multi-camera comedy.
CBS and The Big Bang Theory creators have been laying out the groundwork for Sheldon for quite a while now, as they have planted numerous references to Shelton’s childhood during the show’s 10-season run.
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Interestingly, Perry (Sheldon’s younger mom on Sheldon) is the daughter of Jeff Perry – who just like her has been starring on ABC’s Scandal– and his ex-wife Laurie Metcalf, who has appeared as Sheldon’s mom throughout Big Bang Theory‘s 10-season run.
As Big Bang Theory fans know from the CBS show’s 10-season run, Sheldon was growing up as a gifted youngster in Texas, while his mother was religious. The Big Bang Theory is one of the few shows on television that doesn’t lay out its storyline ahead of time. In fact, The Big Bang Theory writers usually come up with new arcs episode by episode. It’s yet unclear if the show’s prequel will take a similar approach.
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