UPDATED: Simon Helberg will have a lot more money to buy those bright-colored turtlenecks. The Big Bang Theory co-star has just landed a big raise from the series’ producer Warner Bros. TV. I hear Helberg’s new salary is in the range of $100,000-$125,000 an episode, up from the roughly $40,000 he is currently making. Helberg and fellow co-star Kunal Nayyar entered salary re-negotiations shortly after series’ leading trio, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, and Jim Parsons finished theirs in September, netting identical salary increases from about $60,000 last season to $250,000 in Season 5, $300,000 in Season 6 and 350,000 in Season 7, in addition to a piece of the CBS series’ backend. With Helberg set, Nayyar remains the only Big Bang cast member who has not reached an agreement with Warner Bros. for a new higher salary. I hear such deal is expected and, just like with Parsons, who held out for more money before accepting the terms of the studio’s final offer that Galecki and Cuoco had agreed on, if he doesn’t, his re-negotiations may be tabled until the summer. That would leave Nayyar at the current salary of about $25,000 per episode. It is not clear if Warner Bros. offered Helberg and Nayyar “favored nations”-type deals with equal financial terms the way it did with Galecki, Cuoco and Parsons. While not featured as prominently as Galecki, Cuoco and Parsons early on, Helberg has grown into a key cast member and a regular scene stealer. In a testament to his character’s increased importance on Big Bang, Melissa Rauch, who plays his character’s girlfriend, was recently upped to a regular on the show.
Big Bang, now in its fourth season, has successfully relocated to Thursday where it has ranked as the top program of the night in adults 18-49 for the past five weeks. In May, the ensemble comedy landed a blockbuster syndication deal that netted Warner Bros. $2+ million per episode.
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that the stars of The Big Bang Theory are getting fat new paychecks just as the hit CBS comedy is getting ready for its big move to Thursdays next week. After almost 3 months of negotiations with series producer Warner Bros TV, Big Bang leads Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, and Jim Parsons have agreed to a major salary hike that would bring the trio’s salaries to $200,000 an episode for the upcoming fourth season, up from about $60,000 last season. The salaries will rise to $250,000 in Season 5, then $300,000 in Season 6 and 350,000 in Season 7. Additionally, they will each receive .25 point of the series’ lucrative backend and will be paid $1+ million as an advance against it now and another $1 million in Season 7. That effectively adds another $50,000 to their per-episode paycheck over the life of the deal.
I hear Galecki and Cuoco, who have been negotiating together, closed their deals on Monday in a face-to-face meeting between their representatives and Warner Bros following a powwow with the two actors and their teams on Friday where the studio’s final offer was presented. Meanwhile, recent Emmy winner Jim Parsons had been holding out for more money and had handled his negotiations separately despite the fact that he is represented by the same law firm as Galecki and Cuoco (Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren & Richman). I learned that Parsons was offered the same deal as Galecki and Cuoco and given a deadline to take the take it or leave it by today. He just accepted. Talk about hardball: I hear the studio, which had made it clear it was planning to do “favored nations”-type deals (paying all the stars the same), was prepared to table re-negotiations with Parsons until next summer if he had turned down the offer. Read More »
Coming this summer to CBS and WBTV, it’s renegotiations time for the Big Bang gang. The CBS comedy is coming off a red-hot 3rd season and a gigantic off-network syndication deal, putting the cast of the show in a prime position for big salary bumps. Which brings me back to a post I did a month ago titled Is The Big Bang Theory the next Friends? The two comedies share a similar setup: ensemble multi-camera sitcoms about single twentysomethings, the majority of them living in two apartments across the hall; similar ratings strength: Big Bang is now the highest-rated scripted series on TV just like Friends once was; and now the two also share the same time slot, Thursday 8PM, after CBS decided to move Big Bang there in the fall.
Yes, I felt the two comedies had a lot in common… until now. One of the signature moves of the Friends cast was that they negotiated their deals together in an all-for-one, one-for-all fashion, getting to $100,000 per episode each in their first go-around with producer Warner Bros. TV after two seasons and eventually to $1 million per episode. Now, the cast of Big Bang is facing their first salary renegotiation with WBTV following a record-breaking syndication deal for the show, that netted the studio $2+M per episode. But I hear one of the three leads, Jim Parsons, is considering negotiating separately from co-stars Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco.
Read More »