All five of the show’s original stars—Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg—agreed to a $100,000-per-episode pay cut. They came to the agreement in order to help co-stars Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch get raises.
Currently, the primary cast is set to earn $1 million per episode for the upcoming seasons 11 and 12. Meanwhile, Bialik and Rauch will make about $200,000 per episode. The money from other cast members’ pay cuts would bring Bialik’s and Rauch’s salaries up to about $450,000 per episode. But, the generous offer may not be enough.
Contract negotiations for Bialik and Rauch begin this week. Reports claim that the actresses may push the studio pay them the same salary their co-stars receive.
Both actresses started on “The Big Bang Theory” in season three. Bialik plays Amy Farrah Fowler, the girlfriend of Parson’s character, Sheldon Cooper. She’s earned four consecutive Emmy nominations for her role.
Rauch plays Bernadette Rostenkowski on the show. Her character had a baby with Helberg’s character, Howard Wolowitz.
During “The Big Bang Theory’s” previous season—number 10—the show brought in more 20 million viewers per episode.
While “The Big Bang Theory’s” main cast’s gesture is gracious, the concept of actors taking pay cuts for their co-stars is not new. Remember a little show called “Friends”?
Back when the NBC hit show began, all six performers earned the same $22,500 per episode. Then, the Rachel-and-Ross relationship exploded in popularity. Actor David Schwimmer and actress Jennifer Aniston earned more money in season two.
By season three, though, all six performers decided to negotiate as an ensemble with the studio. As a result, Schwimmer and Aniston took a pay cut to make their salaries equal with the rest of the cast. By the time the show ended, each cast member earned $1 million per 30-minute episode.