‘Big Bang Theory’ Stars Want a Pay Cut from Their $1 Million Salaries (Really!)
In a very un-Hollywood move, the stars of The Big Bang Theory want to actually lower their salary.
The popular comedy’s five original cast members — Kaley Cuoco, Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg — are said to have offered to take a small pay cut from their $1 million per episode salaries in order to free up money for co-stars Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch. The two actresses, who joined the series in Season 3, are asking for a raise as a part of Warner Bros. TV and CBS’ two-season contract renewal, and Variety is reporting that their castmates have agreed to take a $100,000 cut from their respective checks to cover the $500,000 pay increase.
Bialik and Rauch are currently earning significantly less than their co-stars, raking in only $200,000 — one-fifth of what the original fivesome are making — per episode.
If Bialik and Rauch were to split the $500,000 from their co-stars, they would both be making around $450,000 an episode (or approximately $21 million) in the 48-episode deal for the 11th and 12th seasons.
The Big Bang Theory is one of cable’s highest rated shows, grossing over $1 billion in syndication for Warner Bros. Cuoco, Parsons, Galecki, Nayyar and Helberg all successfully nabbed seven-figure contracts in 2014.