The five leading stars of CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” are apparently taking pay cuts so that two of their longtime castmates can get raises.
Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg ― who have all been on the show since Season 1’s premiere in 2007 ― reportedly agreed to take $100,000 pay cuts from their $1 million per episode salaries for upcoming Seasons 11 and 12 to increase the salaries of Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch, Variety reported, citing multiple sources.
Bialik ― who earned four Emmy nominations for her role as Sheldon’s girlfriend, Amy ― and Rauch have become key characters in the show since joining in Season 3. The two currently make around $200,000 per episode, according to Variety, and are gearing up for contract negotiations this week.
With the money from their co-stars, the two could each bump up to around $450,000 per episode for a 48-episode deal. However, Deadline reported they may be seeking parity with their co-stars.
Last month, The Hollywood Reporter revealed the original five actors will each be earning $1 million per episode for the possible final two seasons of the CBS series, which is television’s No. 1 comedy for the key demographic of 18-to-49-year-olds.
Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco first inked their $1 million per episode contracts with Warner Bros. Television back in 2014, making them TV’s current highest-paid comedy actors. In its ninth season, the show averaged 20 million viewers per episode.
Reps for Parsons, Galecki, Cuoco, Nayyar and Helberg were not immediately available to comment.