Kaley Cuoco The New Jennifer Aniston? ‘The Big Bang Theory’ Star Enters Rare Sitcom Territory

Nathan Francis - Author

Nov. 3 2016, Updated 6:54 a.m. ET

Kaley Cuoco and Jennifer Aniston dominated network television about a decade apart from one another, but the young and bubbly stars now occupy the same hallowed space.

On Monday afternoon Cuoco and the other stars of The Big Bang Theory got the salary they had been seeking from Warner Bros. — $1 million per episode. The three-year contracts put Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, and Jim Parsons among very rare company, as the only other stars to command that salary were the cast of Friends.

Like with Friends, the cast of The Big Bang Theory certainly earned their pay day. The show is consistently the No. 1 rated comedy on television, topping 20 million viewers each week.

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For Kaley Cuoco, the comparisons to Friends go beyond salary or ratings numbers. Her character, Penny, is reminiscent of Jennifer Aniston’s Friends character, Rachel Green. Both are lovable and kind-hearted if a bit slow compared to their sharp-witted peers

“She’s obviously not book-smart,” Cuoco said of her charater, “but she’s street smart and good-hearted and can make fun of herself. The producers never made her ditzy. Maybe she doesn’t always get what the guys are talking about. But in that way she represents most of the world.”

The Jennifer Aniston – Kaley Cuoco comparisons have been made before. In April, Entertainmentwise even compiled a list of seven ways the stars were similar, including the way both rose to fame. The report noted:

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Both are blonde, cute, funny, likeable girls-next-door known for playing, well, blonde, cute and funny girls-next door! Jen shot to fame as Rachel in Friends in ’94, while Kaley got her name on the sitcom map thirteen years later as Penny in The Big Bang Theory. And while we may not be quoting Sheldon or Leonard in 20 years time, it’s definitely on course to being as big a cult classic as Friends.

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The similarities extend beyond the small screen as well. Kaley Cuoco has begun to see the same mega-fame that Jennifer Aniston enjoyed during her Friends run. Like with Anison, celebrity news outlets follow Cuoco closely, especially in her relationships.

If it means getting close to $100 million over the course of three Big Bang Theory seasons, Kaley Cuoco can likely endure being treated like Jennifer Aniston.


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