‘The Big Bang Theory’ Contract Battle: Sides Aim For Deals By Sunday

'The Big Bang Theory' Contract Battle:

The ticking clock is adding urgency to the negotiations of new contracts for the five key stars of “The Big Bang Theory,” with sources suggesting that the constituencies are bracing for a long working weekend in the hopes of getting deals in place by Sunday night.

There is speculation that the days lost this week after production was delayed from its scheduled July 30 start have already cost the Warner Bros. TV sitcom one episode from its 24-episode order for season eight. However, others close to the situation insist that five production days can be made up down the road to avoid trimming down to 23 episodes.

CBS is counting on airing back-to-back new episodes of “Big Bang” on Sept. 22 to give a boost to its new 9 p.m. drama “Scorpion.” “Big Bang” will move back to Monday nights temporarily this fall to make room for the addition of eight NFL games on CBS’ Thursday slate.

The talks between the studio and reps for the thesps — Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar — have been stepped up in the past few days. But sources close to the situation say the process has been slowed by the fact that the actors’ reps are negotiating separately and most are focused on achieving pay parity — which means that each is holding out to hear what the latest offer is for the others before committing to a three-season deal.

The money on the table for the actors is considerable — around $1 million an episode for Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco, plus a larger sliver of the backend — but so are the profits that “Big Bang” is generating in syndication. Helberg and Nayyar have to date earned lower fees than the other three and are said to be hoping to close the gap considerably in this negotiation. Sources said Parsons’ team has been aggressive in pushing for a higher salary given his high profile in pop culture and track record as a three-time Emmy winner who is up for a fourth trophy at the Aug. 25 Emmy ceremony.

Not surprisingly, there is plenty of finger-pointing as to why the sides were unable to reach a deal by the July 30 start of production. Knowledgable sources characterize the actors’ camps as having unrealistic expectations about the kind of money that can be feasibly paid to the actors. From the thesps’ perspective, it’s only fair that the stars share meaningfully in the off-network windfall.

Contract wrangles between talent and the studio on successful shows, particularly sitcoms, are nothing new in TV. But “Big Bang” has by all accounts been a mostly harmonious set, which makes the current tension all the more unusual for the players. As always, the biggest losers will be the show’s craft and crew members if the production delay drags on and scheduled lensing days are lost.

The hope is that the sides will hunker down and make enough progress during the weekend to allow for work to begin on Wednesday. Even if deals are in place by Sunday or Monday, it’s understood that the actors would not go back before Wednesday.

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  1. frankie342 says:

    but I wouldn’t be surprised that their rival sitcom
    2. broke girls will go the same way that’s if they
    survive long enough… to reach where they are
    where their salary sky rocks… over millions and
    the capitalising on merchandise… the cast of the
    big bang theory knew when the merchandise
    start rolling in they know how? big a success
    they are… friends did it when cups and t-shirt’s
    amongst other merchandise like video and
    board games … and Johnny Galecki still
    get’s dvd right’s to Roseanne and like wise .
    with mayim bialik for blossom but I hope
    it’s worth it because it will haunt them all
    later in life… where their ego’s get out
    of hand and their career’s start waning
    where they can’t get the roles as they use to
    ….. just ask the boy’s from home improvement
    a slight correction? Kaley surname is sweeting
    that her credentials are double barrelled .

    FRANKIE LOVE ROCK SMALES

    SMALES TV UK .

    • Frankie, I wish you’d cut the shite. And stop using apostrophes for plural nouns.

      • Mandy says:

        It is funny how apostrophes are being used for plural nouns. That’s a major grammar error I haven’t seen yet.

      • frankie342 says:

        how dare you and who the hell do you think you are and
        how old are you any way I have being an noted reviewer since 97
        whiles you were playing with Barbie dolls and most of you Americans
        can not spell to save your lives people like you are nothing more nothing
        less than internet bullies that likes to rule the internet for your selves and in
        the future learn to respect your elders after all us English people aided
        you American’s in major situations and what do we get in return is abuse
        from kids like you and grow up and learn manors and I will flag your next
        abusive comment and have you barred from the community .

        FRANKIE LOVE ROCK SMALES

        SMALES TV UK

  2. Newsflash: Kaley Cuoco is the only star of the show and is the reason many tune in. I’m not saying the others aren’t talented and very solid performers, but she’s the damn star, ok? She’s magnetic and deserves a large storyline that the others are tethered to, they need to be waterskiing behind the massive speedboat of her and her character.

    • Patricia says:

      I assume that’s a tongue-in-cheek remark? I don’t think there is a star – that’s one of the joys of the show. They all have equal standing in my opinion – if any one of them left the show wouldn’t work as well.

  3. This is the number One show on TV today, and stands to stay there through the last two seasons. Warner Brothers has made BILLIONS on this show. Give the actors everything they want and get on with it. Sheese!!

  4. Carlos says:

    Talk about greedy. These actors are making more money for just acting silly and stupid. They are very fortunate to be in such a position. They should try a real job that requires the student loans, the sacrifice and real brains. Better yet have them put some Kevlar on with a rifle and go put there lives on the line so others don’t get hurt by people’s names they cannot even pronounce. It’s amazing how good they have it.

  5. Christopher says:

    Might they not make more expedient headway, if the agents sit down collectively?

  6. gwjasper643 says:

    Standing ovation for all actors on BBT Hey Warner Brothers are pulling in Billions each episode why not give them an upper raise to bring balance between all whom is involved ~ after all if not for their outstanding acting abilities .. and writers of Bing Bang
    Warner Brothers would not be griping about not giving in to their request snooze ya loose WB come on were all getting tired of these reruns also LOL

    • Exactly! At this point in the series they’re going to pass Seinfeld in number of episodes this season (159 vs. 180), so let’s make a good push, make 2 or 3 more quality seasons and sail away as the new syndication king. So GIVE THEM A MASSIVE RAISE!

  7. It’s a shame , The real loser’s will be the Fan’s !!!

  8. Mikesommers says:

    Come on, this show is one of the biggest cash cows on television. There’s no reason whatsoever that CBS can’t give the stars what they’re asking for. It’s not like CBS risks losing out. It would be almost like pocket change in comparison to what they make off the show. This should spur networks to take action and start contact renewal talks right away when the previous ones expire, rather than waiting all hiatus until the last minute.

  9. bonnye pratt says:

    Pay them what they want and get rid of 2 1/2 men and mom. They are not worth watching.

  10. jsm1963 says:

    The producers painted themselves in a corner by renewing the biggest sitcom on CBS for the next few years with the actor’s contracts coming up now.

  11. Jody Cotter says:

    This is the best show ever since “Friends”
    But please give me a break with wanting more then a million per show! Can we all say “Greedy”?? What more can they possibly need? This has really tainted the show for me now. Changed my opinion about the ones I really loved. Bummer

    • Well with agents, managers, and taxes they’re not really getting 1mil per show. And wasn’t Tim Allen making more than that for Home Improvement? The studios like to cap the stars at a certain amount, but THEIR profits go up and up with no cap. Time to break that ceiling and set a new standard. The show is worth it.

  12. Lisa Verkuilen says:

    I say let it go. there are plenty of unemployed and underpaid people in the world They’re being greedy.

    • jsm1963 says:

      The producers will be making $millions off of this series for years to come. It’s safe to say that might not be the case with different actors in these roles. They have every right to ask for their worth.

      I’m not rich. I’m just getting by myself. I don’t see any reason to hate people for their good fortune, especially for something as positive as their contribution.

    • Nancy miller says:

      Another two in a half men kill bill. They are letting fame go to their heads. I say let them walk. They get royalties for reruns.

  13. Debbie says:

    Sounds like “fame” is making them all a little greedy shall we say!!!!

  14. sammie says:

    Give all seven the same salary and end it now.

  15. Bonnie Evans says:

    I live on Social Security. I struggle to pay my Dish so I can have the pleasure of TV. I very much enjoy Big Bang theory. So why don’t you come live my life and try to make it on my salary and I’ll live off just half of what you are asking for.

  16. The Big Bang Theory is a huge success and I am glad to see a show such as this be of interest to a wide variety audience. It would be great to see ALL the actors be elevated to an equal playing field considering it is the collaboration of ALL the cast members that contribute to its success. On and off screen cast as well. It would be a shame to see the show lose its zeal over the poison of money and greed. The fan base is loyal and yes I agree with the others to think of us too in these negotiations. I love Jim Parson and think he is a wonderful actor. However, I also believe credit should be given where credit is due and the other cast members and additions should ALL be considered for awards. I stress ALL through out this message to accentuate the importance of a harmonious energy the BBT was able to hold onto for so many seasons. What would the show have been without the connectedness that allowed it to become what it is today. The public saw something unique, intriguing and loving about this sitcom don’t diminish its legacy over politics and ego. I love you guys!!!

  17. kaybutera says:

    just settle even if its not you were looking for Im sure you make plent of money to keep you going and living well please consider what ever they offer it would be a shame if you were not on TV Love the show too much to see you guys leave it good luck with the negosiation on the new contract

    • Sue Eckenrode says:

      I love this show, and so do a lot of others. Please consider your fan base, we are the ones that watched your show, bought the DVDs, and LOVE all of you as your characters. It’s time to thank the ones that got you to this point and return to work.
      Our veterans don’t make this kind of money. When you think about it. They have returned to us without limbs, mentality scared, or in a box. Yet they are forced to live on the streets without healthcare, unnoticed by those around them. Really cast?? Do you really think you need that much money??

  18. James says:

    Why not settle for less money per episode, then build a better cut in the merchandising and syndication, streaming, and NEW media ( this is necessary as actors have been screwed by new media in the past, example Star Trek the original and next gen. ) bring the other actors to the same or similar levels and move forward. It would benefit them more to make less now and get a cut of syndication royalties and other avenues. They can come back in three years and get more for the final season! This contract is for three years or rather three seasons (optional annually) and if the profits are lower than necessary to pay out for all, they may cancel the show as cost prohibitive.
    I agree actors need to get as much as possible, but they wouldn’t have anything to work with without the supporting workers that get paid far less than one actor does per episode than they do in a year! So I don’t care about rich actors being greedy and moaning about how big a celebrity they are! I care about the supporting crews of people who are now in a position to look for work if the whiny babies don’t get a million an episode! These are live if people who live nearly paycheck to paycheck and put in far more hours than the actors do for millions less!
    My words to the actors, you make far more than real hard working people and should be negotiating for raises for them rather than your greedy arsed selves!

  19. Robyn SANDERS says:

    IT IS VERY CLEAR THE PEOPLE AND NETWORKS WANT TO KEEP MOST OF THE MONIES PAID FOR THE SHOW AND JUST LIKE SPORTS IF THEY COULD GET BY WITH NOT PAYING THE ACTORS AT ALL THEY WOULD I KNOW IT SEEMS ALOT BUT YOU LOOK UP WHAT THEY WILL BE MAKING OFF OF THEM & YOU’LL SEE IT’S MEARLY A DROP IN THE BUCKET!

  20. cccourt says:

    The numbers for this show (length of years + length of continued years) are the tale of the tape. It makes more money for …the network. These stars deserve every bit as much as Charlie Sheen was paid. They are much better (and more dependable) than he was. In addition, the show is better. Don’t leave out the girls! They brought new dynamics to the show which let the boys grow!

  21. Julie Williams says:

    Pay them!!!!!! Another network will

  22. GREAT show!!! Keep it ON!!!!!

  23. Eloise says:

    These actors are worthy of the salary they propose. Jim Parsons is so outstanding it would be ridiculous not to offer him a considerable salary increase. This show is a huge success.

  24. wang yu says:

    As the translator/subtitle operator of this show in a certain European country, I don’t really know what to say to this saddening news. It’s by far the only show that I like most in tv business (as a viewer and a job professional). And to hear that the actors/actresses trying to squeeze more from the producers, I ever wonder if I can make %10 of one’s fee working lifetime translating the show… (maybe if the show runs for 1000 episodes… so, 32 seasons to go!)

  25. Damian McGeary says:

    Get on with it people. Or we will get bored waiting!

  26. Glen Turner says:

    Disgusting! Sack the lot of them. I hate greed, all these people have to do is read some lines and they want that much money! I think the studio should offer them the same as last year and if they won’t accept it then all the lot and move on. They will return to being jobbing actors remembering back to when they had a regular job.
    After this show no studio will touch these greedy ……. people!
    I Hate Greed!

  27. Simon Edwards says:

    I love the Big Bang best show on the tv but after hearing about the greed of the actors and tv studio I may never watch it again a view shared by many people I know. I am a former British soldier with over 22 years service which the total salary is less then the actors want for one show ! I was at war several times spent years away from home and my children almost killed several times and I consider myself lucky as many people did not come home. Not once did I say I am not working unless I get a pay rise and now after leaving the military I work in a custody suite as a jailier and the money is less than I was on as a soldier but still with many dangers but I still think I am lucky as I am able to work and manage to pay my bills and put good on the table I can take a holiday once a year somewhere warm and have just enough for Christmas. Don’t get me wrong I would love to earn 1 million a week but I know that will never happen but the money these actors make and the money their agents / managers make is astronomical and yet they want more! These people need to take a long hard look at them selfs. Go to the closest military cemitary and read some if the names of soldiers who died so that’s people can be actors and earn money. Then take a walk and talk to the homeless soldiers who have come back from service but are so messed up they can’t make it in society. These guys went willingly so people are not forced to serve. Then they need to loom how they live and then justify there pay rise to 1 million a week

  28. Louise says:

    Tell them to get lost none of them could get other jobs

  29. They should suck it up & pay them ALL what they are asking. You did it for Friends and BBT is far & above better.
    I for one WILL NOT WATCH YOUR STUPID THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL!!!
    We want BBT. ITS THE BEST SHOW on television, hands down!

  30. Hillary says:

    I would laugh if it got canceled over this & would be happy if it got canceled after reading this. I can’t believe they are getting so greedy. Yes, I love this show but I get agrivated by people who want more & more. It’s never good enough. There are Americans starving, Americans who can’t even find jobs but these people who think they are better than everyone else thinks that they should get more. The acting is great but there are dozens of actors/actresses that could do just as good of a job as the cast does & be MORE than happy to get the money they are being offered. Yes, Friends cast might have gotten more money at the time but think about this… When Friends was on the air, there was not as much of these social media sites that posted articles about how much they were making. If there was, they probably would have gotten the same response that Big Bang Theory is getting now. I’ve lost respect for the cast & probably won’t watch it anymore.

  31. They Deserve the Money says:

    That’s why most actors (when they have a big show) have to go for big salaries, they don’t know if this is the last one for good or not, they have to pay people that work for them, etc. Living in Hollywood isn’t cheap. Imagine if this was all you made for your life, that would be a “miracle” for most of us, but we don’t run in these expensive circles that a lot do. I don’t want to but wouldn’t mind having a years worth of their salaries lol. Imagine what a “regular” person could do with that… (not living in an expensive area like Hollywood or NYC, etc).

    They are the primary reasons we love the show, the team of actors/writers/producers have really made it great. You can have great writers and a “meh” show and great actors and awful writing (horrible sometimes). Takes all these together plus a good crew….

  32. callie says:

    Awww. Dang.. I love Big Bang but you’re just “entertainment” for crying out loud… You could be left behind in the dirt and my life wouldn’t change much. Get real. You have awesome longevity for tv but that could disappear real quick if you overprice yourselves. Just sayin.

  33. Frank says:

    The writers are the reason this show rocks. The actors are secondary. Nuff said.

  34. I always ask to myself: how much they are able to spend of this money? Hope they want spend a lot for charity and to helping people who have nothing, otherwise they are bad people

  35. Patricia says:

    I’m sorry but I do think they are being a bit greedy. I love the show – I really do – but I feel the writers are the main reason for that! Seeing the actors hold out for so much money has, quite simply, taken the fun out of it for me.

  36. kimberlyann Olaski says:

    I really enjoy the show,but I’m sorry, for the actors holding out for money is causing a domino effect. Do the staff and crew get paid while the show is not in production? They have families, bills to pay and children to take care of It is not always about the actors, if they didn’t have the staff and writers the actors wouldn’t be as good as they are.

  37. BMW says:

    Love this show, but really I. This day and age in this exonomy, with the wealth gap what it is? Suck it up and domyour job or quit.

  38. JKN says:

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Big Bang!!! It’s so funny!!! My favorite show on TV. The whole cast is AWESOME!!! They all play their parts so well. I even have seasons 1 – 6 on DVD & just recently pre-ordered season 7. My mother also loves the show. I read in another article that production is now scheduled for next Wednesday, August 6th, as long as the cast has closed on new deals & according to this article, that could happen this weekend. I hope everything gets worked out in time so that production can finally start next week. I don’t like having to wait & wonder what’s going to happen.

  39. Cheryl Burleson says:

    Hope everything works out, my favorite show.love to laugh with the crazy guys.love the girls too.

  40. Geovane says:

    Needy babies, Greedy babies!!!!!! And selfish

  41. Jim Devine says:

    Big Bang is the only show I watch on CBS. Cancel this and there is no reason for me to watch CBS.

  42. sosie habte says:

    Please, please, please, pay them. They deserve it. And to be fair, each actor deserve the1 million. We should not forget that, the total sum of the actors make the show. I hope this show not cancelled.

  43. Cynthia Thibodeaux says:

    Please come back. I watch all new and old episodes. I love you all. You remind me of our son and friends at Vanderbilt.

  44. Kaos says:

    Pay them.

  45. They deserve the money they make the SHOW😊😊😊

  46. rgold02 says:

    I love the show. As long as their show is on, I will be watching.

  47. big1011guy says:

    I say (actors) get what you can – NOW – cause someday your populatlrity will fade and you will need a nest egg to live on.

  48. trangspeaks says:

    its kind of interesting to for Parsons to be the most aggressive for salary, while sheldon is a major draw to the show, he is not my favorite. I enjoy the penny/leonard and howard/bernadette relationships much more. Raj is ok and character is getting flushed out but just doesnt grab me much. Amy is funny at times but pretty one dimensional at this point.

    the Other interesting part is Johnny Galekki is the most accomplished of all these folks as far as TV and movie acting. Surprised he isn’t guiding the group in these talks.

    I think the deserve what they can get, its fair. The already have 3 seasons of guarenteed work at millions a year. they also are basically Immortal in syndication… and have the chance to be the most famous and long running sitcom of all time.

    Look forward to season 8, how ever long.

  49. For all the people saying this is about greed, you’re looking at this in the wrong perspective. When you do good at your job, do you try and get a pay raise, or do you stay with what you earn, and not bother? Don’t be hypocritical. and I know what you’re all thinking: “But they make a lot of money already, they don’t need to make anymore.” It’s called inflation. When you’re a big star, you buy big things, and those big things like houses, property, and luxury…all have taxes. The taxes are pretty up there along with the earnings, so in their world, they’re doing what we do everyday: paying the bills. After a few years, I know I would like a raise, but I get one every year on my review. Well this is their review: The ratings. They did really well, so they deserve a raise, and they aren’t without right to it. Mumble and grumble all you want, but they are working for less than what their employees make, but they LITERALLY run the show.

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