When The Big Bang Theory first aired on CBS in 2007, no one would have guessed the show would be such a success. The show featured relatively unknown or has-been actors and rested upon a trite premise of nerds and geeks trying to exist in the real world. However, riding the waves of success created by How I Met Your Mother, witty writing, and surprisingly good acting, The Big Bang Theory finds itself gearing up for Season 8, with two more seasons already signed.
Shooting for Season 8 has been delayed, though, as producers and executives were waiting for the triumvirate of Kaley Cuoco (Penny), John Galecki (Leonard Hofstadter), and Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper) to come to terms with their new contracts. And boy – was the wait ever worth it.
Deadline has reported that the comedic trio has inked deals of epic proportions. While Cuoco and company were never making chump change – depositing $350,000 in their bank accounts for each episode aired, the trio has tripled their earnings through the next three seasons.
The actors who play Leonard, Sheldon and Penny on Big Bang Theory will be paid $1 million per episode this season.
— Actor Trivia (@ActorTrivia) August 4, 2014
That is not a typo, folks. Cuoco, Galecki, and Parsons will each make $1 million per episode for the next three seasons – and that’s before one accounts for all of the bonuses and incentives arranged for in the contracts as well. While the trio is guaranteed $72 million over the next three seasons, that number could go as high as $90 million total with everything included.
The new contract for the three Big Bang Theory stars resembles the final contracts signed by the cast of Friends during its finals two seasons, with Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, and Matthew Perry each making $1 million per episode.
The 3 stars of Big Bang Theory will collectively make 1/4 BILLION dollars in base pay over the next 3 years. Going back to bed now forever.
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) August 4, 2014
However, much time has passed since Friends went off the air in 2004, and the contracts of television stars have continued to soar. So, before you get all riled-up about how much money Cuoco, Galecki, and Parsons are making for approximately 23 minutes of airtime, think about this: The highest paid television star is Judge Judy, who makes a whopping $47 million per year.
Makes you a little sick, doesn’t it?
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