Big Bang Contract Update: Everyone's Staying (Howard and Raj Included)

The Big salary standoff of 2014 has been resolved.

A day after co-stars Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco inked lucrative new pacts, Big Bang Theory supporting players Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar have secured sizable raises in exchange for a new three-year commitment.

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Helberg and Nayyar had been making $125 and $75K, respectively. There’s no word yet on what their new salaries are, but it’s safe to say they will pale in comparison to the $1 million-an-episode Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco will be pulling in. (Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva has some juicy intel on the protracted and tense talks.)

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The news ensures that the cast will be present and accounted for at Wednesday’s delayed table read. (Later-season additions Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik are on different contract cycles, and thus already have deals for the coming season.)

A Warner Bros. rep said in a statement, “Production on Season 8 of The Big Bang Theory will begin Wednesday, August 6, with contract negotiations now having been concluded.”

Last month at the Television Critics Assoc. summer press tour, CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler said that she was “very confident” new deals would be struck in time to deliver the show’s hour-long Sept. 22 premiere.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Kevin says:

    Well good for them. All of them. In my opinion, they shoulda paid the laugh track guy the most– seeing as he works the hardest on set. $3 million plus per week could really improve the writing.

  2. TL says:

    Sooooo, Melissa and Mayim got screwed?

    • Boiler says:

      Looks like it. I think Melissa funnier and better than Kaley

    • Ray says:

      I believe that Melissa and Mayim both renegotiated contracts last year. I doubt they’re up yet.

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        Correct, per Paragraph 4.

      • TL says:

        No, I know that. I’m just saying their deals probably PALE in comparison to what has been done this week, not that they thought they could get what the others got, but I have a sense they still got screwed.

        • Ray says:

          We’ll have to wait until their contracts are up for renewal next to see if they ‘get screwed’. The fact is, they’ve been there less time than the other actors, and regardless of how good they are, neither have the name recognition to demand higher salaries on that alone.

          Besides, it looks like their contracts started around 60k per episode, going up each year toward 100k by the end of the contract. While not as good as the others, it’s absolutely nothing to sneeze at, and again, they’ve been there less time.

        • Jack says:

          Probably, but they do not have the ability to look into the future, so they did now know. I am sure that when their next negotiations come up, they will make out just fine.

      • Fingerlakes Dave says:

        They are both using their name recognition, however. Mayim will co-host the new resurrection of ‘Candid Camera” on TV Land, and Melissa has been on “True Blood” and other shows.

    • Carm says:

      Seriously. As I told someone else with the same ridiculous comment, most companies in the US work the same way. People who have worked for the company longer typically make more money than people doing the same job who have not worked there as long. It is called seniority and happens all the time. Why is it so hard to understand that it would also happen on a TV show? It is also a business.

      • Coal says:

        Nayyar and Helberg have been on the show from the beginning yet they weren’t earning the same as Parsons, Cuoco and Galecki. Nayyar was even earning less than a 3rd of the other 3. Your seniority argument is flawed.

        • Jack says:

          They were not leads in the beginning. If you click on the link in the above article, you will see good reasoning that explains why they do not make as much as the other three. So, the seniority argument has merit.

          • Coal says:

            Now you guys are shifting the goal posts, your whole argument has been based on time spent on the show rather than classification of role, so it has taken the powers that be seven seasons to realise that Helberg and Nayyar are also seniors ? So why wasn’t this new found lead status they now have noticed for the second round of contract negotiations after season 3 ?

        • Carm says:

          Jack is correct. Also my reply was to a comment that said Mayim and Melissa were screwed. I was only referring to those two so my argument was not flawed.

          • Coal says:

            I know you were referring to the Rauch/Bialik statement, you didn’t bring up the actor status Jack did. You are using Jack’s reasoning to manipulate facts to suit your point of view.

          • Carm says:

            @coal. We are discussing actors on a tv show. So no, I am not using Jack’s reasoning to manipulate anything. I also did not say if everyone starts a job at the same time they always make the same. I said they tend to make more than people who have been there less time. And you really did not seem to know I was only referring to Melissa and Mayim in my original reply.

          • Coal says:

            I did know that your we referring to Rauch and Bialik and that is exactly why I mentioned Nayyar and Gilbert as an indication of them being there from the beginning not earning the same is others, but let’s agree to disagree as you are now using semantics to prove your point.

          • Coal says:

            *Helberg not Gilbert

      • Joe says:

        Really?? Now I assume you are talking in Today’s World, and if so…Where do you work? Tenure means NOTHING now a days, especially in TV or Movies, it is your Name you work with.

  3. Boiler says:

    All way overpaid but at least Kunal and Simon stuck up for themselves. Melissa and Mayim deserve to be in that range(as stupid as range is). Don’t care that they signed contracts already, Melissa better than Kaley

    • Larry says:

      Not overpaid it the rate the market sets CBS will be making a ton of money of this and so this is cheap to them.

      • Heero says:

        The studio makes 6.5 million in revenue per episode… so million dollar salaries are not “cheap.” The show may not survive these salaries for very long, but only time will tell.

  4. uk-usa-tvaddict says:

    What must it be like to work with people you have worked with for ages knowing they are earning x6 the amount that you are?

    I don’t watch this show but the three levels of pay is fascinating. The big three get $1M per ep, the jewish guy gets $175K, the almost silent Asian guy gets $75K. I take it the other female cast members must be on even less than that.

    • TV God says:

      Hes not asain he’s Indian.

      • me says:

        India is part of Asia. He would be considered Asian.

        • TL says:

          That’s like saying Canadians would be considered Americans…

          • me says:

            Mindy Kaling has even referred to herself as Asian on the Mindy Project. They would be considered both Asian and Indian.

          • YoyoLee says:

            Well they are. So would Mexicans and everybody else who lives in north and south america. What you’re saying is equivalent to “That’s like saying Brits would be considered Europeans”

          • Ben says:

            Indians are Asians, Canadians are Americans, Brits are Europeans, but I am not an Australian.

          • TV Gord says:

            No, not at all. (Such limited thinking in this thread.) Indians are Asians. They just don’t fit your image of what you think Asians are. Iranians and Iraqis are Asian, too. Wrap your minds around that! I swear, some Americans really should travel more.

      • Hannah says:

        Please don’t embarrass yourself like that…

      • alan says:

        He’s even referred to himself as Asian on the show. India is part of the Asian continent.

    • Josh says:

      Wrong, when the big three were on $300k, Simon made $125k and Kumal $75k.

      According to deadline, their new deals are huge, the back end isn’t as big but upfront is between 700k and a mil.


  5. Phyllis Hibberd says:

    I don’t care who you are some one doing sports,tv or even movies no one should get that kind of money why do we have to pay them that there are people out there can’t get $2.00 a hour for a lot harder job .

    • King says:

      Uhm ok. So if you were in their shoes, you wouldn’t ask for a raise this big eventhough your show collects a billion dollar per year? You’ll let the studio have all that money and not even a tiny share for yourself. Ok.

      • johnhelvete says:

        It was amazing to read some of the comments on here the other day about the big three’s deal and how many posters were up in arms about the amount of money that the actors are making, but many of the same posters seemed ok with a big corporation making tons of money off the show and not sharing the profits with the employees (in this case the actors).

        • TL says:

          And when you mean amazing, you mean sad, right? I totally agree! Lots of people not understanding the economics of the entertainment business.

          • Boiler says:

            Totally understand it! The scope is just crazy and I am sorry you don’t get that. Perhaps CBS and WB stockholders would like this money

          • TV Gord says:

            I’m sure the stockholders are just fine with having such a mega-hit on CBS. They’re getting their share, too (considering how little they’re doing to contribute to the overall quality of the network, as the stars of this show are).

          • Boiler says:

            TV Gord feel like you are stalking mew:):):) Believe it or not I love this show and likely will continue to watch. I was in corporate America long enough to get all the reasons they are supposedly worth this much. I just think it has gotten ridiculously out of hand on an individual basis. I rarely watch pro sports anymore for the same reasons. In all your posts I have seen you say nothing wrong, it is just the circumstances where people are seeing the middle class disappear it is frustrating to see

    • kate'shomesick says:

      The thing is you a) can’t really compare (most of) the creative field to “normal 9-5” jobs. Most are working freelance, not a lot of job security…etc. b) I think: it’s not that they deserve a lot less…it’s that most people deserve MORE money for their work…the pharma industry, oil monarchs aand so on…THOSE are scary categories you can’t explain within reason…

    • You aren’t paying anyone anything, so what’s your problem? Who should get the money? The suits from CBS? TBBT is an immensely popular show. The reruns draw better ratings than most scripted fair on network and cable tv. These types of situations don’t happen very often but, when they do, I’m all for the actors making millions. Why not? Had I hoped, in my teens or early twenties, to make millions a year, I would have taken a shot at acting or sports(the odds would have been against me, but…) I wasn’t willing to chance it and, it seems, neither were you. You can accept your lot in life or aim higher…but there’s no need to begrudge others of their successes.

      • Andrea says:

        But we ARE paying! All shows get expensive as they age. Warner Bros. is not likely to be A-OK with less profit. They’ve now got a huge bill for Big Bang, they’re paying Ashton Kutcher large amounts of cash, and I believe 2 Broke Girls and Mike and Molly have expenses of their own. We’re going to eventually see that in things like streaming fees and transmission rights. Studios have expenses, networks have expenses, and they pass those costs on when they negotiate with Netflix, Amazon, and sets prices of things like DVDs.

        It has been insulting to read all of the comments from those who’ve said that those who have issue with this “don’t understand the industry.” I’m not opposed to giving the actors a raise, even a substantial one, but the deals that have been negotiated here are too much, in my opinion. In addition, we hear all the time that one of the reasons that shows get cancelled is because they are too expensive to produce. That’s a disincentive to continue to produce a less-successful show like 2 Broke Girls because WB has this big bill from TBBT that they have to pay. Profits decline as shows age.

        This deal will eventually impact any person who watches anything produced by Warner Bros.

  6. Laurie Emerson says:

    I still think that they should have stuck together like the cast of Friends. Each character plays off of each other and to me one of them is not more important than the other.

  7. Josh Emerson says:

    I’m glad. Honestly though, I believe the six of them should be paid the same, similar to the Friends cast. I believe the ‘supporting’ actors on this show are really the best part. The show was taken to the next level when Bernadette and Amy were added.

    • Carm says:

      All of the actors in the Friends cast where there from the first show. That is not true of this show so why would they make the same. If you had a job for a while I don’t think you would be very happy if they paid the entry level person the same as you for doing the same job.

      • Coal says:

        Like Nayyar and Helberg ?

        • Jack says:

          Only secondary characters in the beginning. Read the link in the above article.

          • Coal says:

            I did read the article on Deadline and I fully understood it, however what Carm is saying is if EVERYONE !!! started on the show at the same time they would earn the same, she is using seniority to plead her argument not how the actors are billed on the show as you say secondary actors.

    • Carm says:

      And that is actually 7 people.

  8. OldFan says:

    Everything I hear about this show makes me very nervous. It sounds like they may be visiting the Smithsonian to get a pair of motorcycle boots and jacket for their ski trip

  9. cindy says:

    Excellent!!! They are valuable additions to the cast; we love this show — second only to Last Man Standing. It’s nice (and rare) to have some comedies that don’t relay on sex for humor. There’s so much opportunity for humor in relationships (non-explicit sexual) and in what goes on the world. i.e., society and politics — life outside the bedroom that writers should find some and write more good comedies –Two Broke Girls (though they do stick in sex jokes — but it’s class differences and characters that make the show funny — it doesn’t rely on sexual situations like 2 1/2 men (which we stopped watching long ago)

  10. Melanie says:

    I read on other website it was a take-it-or-leave-it deal, and that if the last two were not taking it they would have been written off the show. I’m pissed there and I agree the full cast should have fight together for a similar salary as any one of them leaving just kills it.

    • elenagreece says:

      I know, I just read it too, and it made me very angry. These two actors are my favorites in the cast and I believe they deserve much more. They are terribly underrated, in my opinion..

  11. The Squatch says:

    Just out of curiosity, I wonder how much someone like the actor who plays Stewart ( Stuart?) makes. I know he is a recurring character and not a regular, but he has been in a ton of episodes, especially over the last few seasons.

    • Brandy says:

      Actually, Stuart is a series regular.He was upgraded to series regular for season six on, but is hardly seen.

      • Coal says:

        He isn’t regular any more, yes he was upgraded to a regular in the beginning of season six, even had is name in the opening credits, but was downgraded again to guest star because the writers couldn’t find regular material for his character. The same happened to Sara Gilbert in the earlier seasons.

  12. Janet Slipak says:

    They all need to stay together to keep this show as successful as it is. I’m glad this has been ironed out and now everyone get get back to Biz.

  13. Anand says:

    Still, before the pay raises there is discrimination here with Kunil Nayyar only paid $75K while the other four are paid more. Now that discrimination is more so since Parsons, Galecki, and Cuoco are being paid $1 million an episode despite Nayyar and Helberg’s pay raises as well. The five of them really should have come together and asked for a reasonable pay raise for each of them (i.e. something like $500 to 700K per episode)

  14. Aline says:

    I miss that time when the cast from Friends would negotiate as a united front to get equal salaries. It’s a little bit selfish what Kaley, Jim and Johnny are doing. Most of the time, Howard and Raj’s scenes are the one that save the episode. Shame.

    • Tabascojohn says:

      Friends only negotiated together at the very end, Cox made way more than the rest of them for many years. Do you miss that too? Look at modern family, Ed O’Neil makes double what anyone else makes on the show, it’s all market value, you get what you’re worth. Without the main 3 the show would end, any of the other ones could be written out and the show could continue.

      • Aline says:

        Not really. Friends had the same salary after Season 3. The 1st and 2nd were different, but before season 3 they all stuck together to have the same salary. From Season 3 to Season 10. Like someone said here already: Helberg sometimes carries a scene better than the rest. And if without the main 3 the show would end, then they should fight harder for better salaries for Simon and Kunal (and the other girls). They’re making more money than they can spend in their lifetime. It’s ridiculous, really.

        • Tabascojohn says:

          Well the fact is Helberg and Nayyar were told to sign the final offer or get written off the show, even with that they are reported to be getting in the range of $500,000 an episode. The core of the show centers around Leonard and Penny’s relationship and Sheldon’s quirks, that’s why they get the big money. Big Bang has the highest price for commercials of any show other than football, CBS has shortened the show from 22 min to 18 to add 8 more commercials, the show is making huge money in syndication and DVD sales, is number one show in the USA, Canada, UK, and several other markets around the world, everyone involved is going to make stupid money for the rest of their lives. None of it is about being selfish, it’s all about how much leverage you have and how good your agent and lawyers are.

          • Aline says:

            I have to agree with the last part. And yes, I also believe everything you say. But that doesn’t mean I think is “correct”. But anyways…that’s just me. :)

  15. hud says:

    Who care’s what pay they receive? Watch or not, it is know as free will, sadly you will not get paid for having it.

  16. codebreaker 714 says:

    Now, all the teenagers in the country can breathe again. Their favorite gang of misfits will be back for more ridiculous episodes. I’ll be spending my leisure time in movie theaters.

  17. valeskas says:

    Best comedy on TV in the last 15 years.

  18. Francine says:

    I know the “stars” of the show are Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco but I think
    Helberg is an amazing comedian and actor and many times carries a scene better than the rest of the cast.

    • Anne says:

      I agree. He was my least favorite and now he is my favorite one on show. Brilliant actor. He reminds me of Dustin Hoffman. If they ever bring on Howard’s Dad, I hope it is Hoffman.

  19. Tabascojohn says:

    Ok, all of you that keep saying they should be united like Friends, they only negotiated together the last couple years, before that Courtney Cox made twice as much as the rest of them. Also, CBS is not going to go broke, they make tons from syndication and DVDs, much like how NBC is still making millions from Friends and Seinfeld. Estimates are that CBS will profit over a billion dollars from the show over the next 3 years, and if the secondary characters all got even a small percentage of the backend they will never have to worry about money the rest of their lives.

  20. Sharon says:

    I hope Helberg and Nayyar get a substantial raise because they certainly bring the laughs and help to make the show work. I Love it ! P.S. I still don’t think it’s right that anyone should get paid sooo much money for each episode as the other three are. We’re all going to be paying for it in the end.

  21. Eileen Callahan says:

    Does this have to be on Yahoo every single day?

  22. john says:

    Melissa and Mayam are both jews that’s precisely why they are getting such high pay even though they are new to the show in comparison to Howard and Raj!

  23. john says:

    The two jews are getting huge raises and they are newcomers to the show while Howard and Raj are being short changed since they were there before the two jews!

  24. Joe says:

    well last year wasnt funny so hopefully they found better writers

  25. arlette urick. says:

    I no longer watch this ,for it is supposed to be a comity not a drama from adults who cannot funtion to many drama in the world to watch one on tv .

  26. sue massey says:

    they are worth every penny!!

  27. Denise Stark says:

    Now that I have read (in another article) about how much less Helberg and Nayyar will make, I find I am distracted when watching TBBT. I am afraid I am not going to be able to ever see it the same way again.

  28. jim says:

    Talking smart about tv is an oxymoron. All actors and entertainers are a joke. Yes they should be paid a salary and then keep their mouths shut. We do not pay people who are actually educated enough ( Leah Remini dropped out of Jr. High school.) and do important work like the real phd’s of the world. I do not want opinions from low life actors. If I want anything I will drop a quarter in the tin cup and the organ grander can crank the organ and the actors can dance and entertain at the end of the little chain.

  29. It just would NOT have been the same show without Howard and Raj. They may be supporting cast but they really hold up the show. I would have quit watching it without the core cast and current I pay $1.99 for each episode!

  30. goodguy_256 says:

    I hope this season is worth it. The stars are smart to get lucrative deals because the next tv show they are on may not be so “open minded” about contract negotiations. This “delay” may hurt their chance(s) to get in to new shows after this.

  31. Fred says:

    Personally, I consider all five actors of equal importance on the show. If any one of them disappeared, the show simply wouldn’t be the same. Trying to rank them is like asking which leg is the most important of a three-legged table. I think the five should have stuck together during negotiations, and insisted that all of them be paid equally.

  32. Gwen says:

    Simon Helburg should be making what Johnny Galecki is making and Johnny Galecki should take some acting lessons, who is he related to? because that the only way he could be on this show and making that kind of money.

  33. BobbyG says:

    These actors have nothing else going for them so I don’t know why anyone would believe that they would walk away from the outrageous wages that they were already making. The money would have been better spent on having a bigger and better writers staff to possibly make the series more interesting. It has become stagnant, they need better ideas from creative and intelligent writers. The actors may be good at their craft but they can be replaced as easily as anyone else on any show. What keeps the fans coming back is the story.

  34. Raquel says:

    I believe the show is good because of all five of them. Not three! They should get paid the way FRIENDS did there deals. All five make the same pay PERIOD!!

  35. Way too much money being paid for characters in a show that is already past it’s prime.

  36. Shirl says:

    Sorry, they’re not worth that much money. And the show is getting a bit so-so. It was a good show to start out with, but personally, I’d have slapped Sheldon silly a long time ago, and If I was Leonard I’d make sure Penny had a current STD test done.

  37. Thinker says:

    I thought the show was nuts and I wouldn;t watch it. Now I have a list and I check what I have seen. I think the show is great and I am looking forward for the new season. Now that the gang is all signed up….

  38. Jim Parsons is a money grubbing Queen, just like Elton John. Who was he? Did he ever have a major role in ANYTHING???? Was he a stand up comic? I think not. Johnny and Kaley did. Just because he’s the favorite BONEHEAD on the show, doesn’t mean he should drag down that kind of cash. He’s a big fat nothing. Help me by signing on to the “I hate Sheldon Cooper fan club” Plus the show wasn’t written for him, it was written for Johnney, and Kaley !!!!!!!!!!!

  39. Deb says:

    Tell ya what if they decided not to come back tough can be replaced by another. Just saying the writers may quit in the middle then what? I say replace them with doctor who or girl friends or Tom Clancy or a newer show their tired let them move on don’t think of the fans of the show.

  40. Away CNY says:

    Dysfunctional characters who try to be funny while the actors are greed mongers…much like the U.S. Congress.

  41. Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco alone do NOT make the show and yet they’re the only ones receiving $1 million per episode…proving how greedy they are. CBS should have stood their ground and not caved to these greedy “celebrities.”

  42. Margo says:

    The people who should get a big raise are the WRITERS of the show. The actors would be nowhere without the brains behind the dialogue.

  43. Larry says:

    Good – I need more bang – gotta have more bang – LOVE THAT SHOW

  44. As far as I am concerned , the 3 Stooees so called front liner’s .receive too too much .
    I do not know what the rest of the cast receieve . Nothing like Curly Larry @Moe . I would guess

  45. LESTER WHITE says:


  46. Joe says:

    I love the show and have been a fan for years, however now I think it is RUDE the amount of $$ that are being paid. Think each of them need’s to donate 10% of their out laddish pay to a Charity, if they Don’t I will be the first to stop watching

  47. Joe says:

    After reading a lot of the post’s here, most of them from uninformed peep’s, ratings are the $$ in the Market, and as much as you say you don’t watch…enough DO, hence the pay, I DO watch but am very against this HUGE PAY for the ACTORS., think this next season may show a DROP in revenue.

  48. Gaby says:

    The funniest show ever. Jim parsons is in imitable. I watch the same episodes 20 times. However, I wish they used proper grammar. Those alleged geniuses should know the difference between can and may. Too bad. First tone comment

  49. Gaby says:

    My comment was errased

  50. Scott says:

    I didn’t like Penny’s hair with it being that short it took away from her character