A couple of years ago, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, and Johnny Galecki of The Big Bang Theory crossed over into Friends territory when they started making $1 million an episode. Eventually two more main cast members, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg, got cut in on the $1 million an episode jackpot. Paycheck negotiations have started again, and this time the negotiators are Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch (aka Sheldon’s girlfriend and Howard’s wife).
Both Mayim and Melissa joined the show in the third season and were getting $200,000 an episode. TBBT is now in its 10th season and Mayim and Melissa are considered main cast members. Mayim has even gotten four consecutive Emmy nominations for her work on the show. So they asked Warner Bros. and CBS for more money late last year. The only problem is, CBS may not want to throw more money at the cast. Variety says there’s a chance TBBT won’t generate as much incremental syndication revenue in the next two seasons, which might be its final seasons.
Thankfully, poor Mayim and Melissa won’t have to eat trash can tuna and drink homemade toilet wine with their paltry $200,000 an episode paychecks. Sources tell Variety that Jim, Kaley, Johnny, Kunal, and Simon have all offered to take a $100,000 pay cut per episode so that Mayim and Melissa will get a raise. With the extra money, they’ll each make $450,000 an episode.
However, Variety’s sources claim that Mayim and Melissa are still going to lean on CBS and Warner Bros. for more money. They might try to go for a $1 million an episode deal to match the rest of the cast. Normally I’d side-eye that number and think “You’re ALL greedy“, but not in this case. Melissa Rauch deserves as much money as possible for the future surgery she’ll need to repair her vocal cords from talking in a Minnie Mouse on Vicodin voice.
Neither Mayim nor Melissa have said anything about their possible raises. But if you see pap pics of Mayim trading in a Nissan Sentra for a giant solid-gold flower hat on wheels pulled by Joey Lawrence and his brothers, that might be a clue to how well negotiations went.