The Big Bang Theory is due to begin production of its eighth season on July 30, but that may not happen. According to Fox News, stars Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar have yet to finalize contracts that would secure their return to The Big Bang Theory for any of the three seasons CBS ordered.
It’s no secret that the sticking point in negotiations is salary. According to The Inquisitr, each of the show’s three lead actors is asking $1 million per episode. There’s been no word on what amount per episode Simon Helberg or Kunal Nayyar are requesting.
When CBS renewed The Big Bang Theory in the spring for three seasons, it was contingent on the current cast returning. Co-stars Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch finalized their contracts in the fall of 2013. If contract negotiations fail to progress, CBS may be in trouble. When CBS released the fall 2014 schedule, many were surprised to learn that The Big Bang Theory would start the season on Monday nights. The move will give new CBS a ratings boost by keeping their number one show on television during football season. It will also allow the supremely popular Big Bang Theory to serve as a launchpad for freshman show Scorpion. The seventh season finale of The Big Bang Theory was the most watched finale in the show’s history. There’s no doubt that CBS has a vested interest in contract negotiations going smoothly.
Unfortunately for CBS, the decision isn’t in their hands. The Big Bang Theory is owned by Warner Bros. Television, and negotiations have been taking place between the actor’s representatives and the studio. Though rumor is neither side has had much communication with the other, there is more at stake than money for Warner Bros. Television if negotiations delay production. The Big Bang Theory and its cast are regular Emmy nominees. In 2014 alone the show received seven nominations.
— Melissa Rauch (@MelissaRauch) July 10, 2014
While no progress has been made, CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler has expressed confidence that everything will be straightened out in time for production to begin on time. While The Big Bang Theory will have a panel at San Diego Comic-Con as always, CBS was very careful not to mention any of the actors appearing at the panel. Expect to learn more as the looming July 30 production start date draws closer.