The Big Bang Theory looks set for a two season renewal by CBS, with reports principal cast members are finalising new contracts.
Deadline reports Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar are believed to be close to what the cast are currently receiving, around $1m an episode. Negotiations are expected to gain momentum with co-stars Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik, whose contracts also are up.
The deal is expected to encompass a full 24 episodes per season.
If negotiations between CBS and Warner Bros TV conclude successfully, it would bring the hit series to 12 seasons.
Three years ago, original stars Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco negotiated together for equal salary, as did Helberg and Nayyar, who were then in a different tier. But all five reached parity at about $1 million an episode, with Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco also negotiating an increase in their ownership stake, and Galecki and Parsons received producing deals at WBTV.
Rauch and Bialik, both introduced as guest stars in Season 3 and becoming regulars in Season 4, had been earning $175,000 an episode in their most recent deal, according to sources. Because their characters have become an integral and equal part of the show’s ensemble, with Bialik earning four Emmy nominations for her role, and because of where they are salary-wise due to their later start on the show, both are primed for a major salary bump for the next two seasons.
Variety notes the deal also comes as CBS and Warner Bros. TV are developing a prequel project focusing on the formative years of the Sheldon Cooper. Parsons is on board that project as an executive producer along with showrunner Steven Molaro, who is writing the script.
Despite its whopping $10m an episode pricetag, the series has generated more than $1 billion for Warner Bros TV in syndication revenue.