The main five actors in The Big Bang Theory have each agreed to forgo $100,000 per episode in pay in order to raise the salaries of two of their co-stars.


Jim ParsonsJohnny GaleckiKaley CuocoKunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg have all agreed to take a 6-figure pay cut in order to make more money available for raises for their co-stars Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch.

The original five reportedly earn $1 million per episode, compared to Bialik and Rauch’s $200,000. By offering to forfeit one hundred thousand dollar each, Bialik and Rauch will increase their pay to $450,000 each per episode.

Big Bang Theory is primetime’s most watched comedy and will soon be entering its 10th season. While Parsons and the gang have been around the entire time, Bialik and Rauch joined in season 3, and their reps have been pressing the studio for a pay raise. The show is already slated to run at least through 12 seasons, and the actors’ pay cuts would be in effect throughout.

There is no doubting the importance of Bialik and Ruach’s characters. Bialik added some much-needed emotional depth to the show as Sheldon’s girlfriend, and Rauch’s Bernadette just had a baby with Howard. Bialik has been nominated for best supporting actress Emmys four years in a row, from 2012-2015.

The issue appears to be more about how much money the show is raking in. Because of the way broadcast syndication deals work, the next few seasons probably will not drive up the show’s value. Plus, CBS’s new license fee no longer covers production costs, making the show more expensive to make from the get go.

Reps for Warner Bros., CBS, Bialik, and Rauch all declined to comment on the situation.

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