EXCLUSIVE: The newest additions to the cast of CBS‘ hit comedy The Big Bang Theory have scored nice salary bumps. I’ve learned that Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch — regulars on Big Bang since fall 2010 having started off as guest starring-turned-recurring players on the popular comedy — have both renegotiated their current salaries, which have been in the $20,000-$30,000 range per episode. No one is commenting but I hear the duo will be making about double that, in the neighborhood of $60,000, this coming season, with their pay steadily increasing every year to reach close to $100,000 an episode by the end of their contracts. As a result of the renegotiation, I hear Bialik and Rauch, who play Sheldon and Howard’s brainy better halves Amy and Bernadette, respectively, also have added a year to their current deals.
The Bialik/Rauch deal is the first in what is going to be a big season behind-the-scenes at Big Bang, which, six years into its run, is firing on all cylinders creatively and commercially. Over the next eight months, Big Bang faces license fee negotiations as the series is currently renewed by CBS through this season, as well as contract negotiations with the entire original cast, whose deals also are all up at the end of this season. With the series doing so well and eying a potential strong showing at the Emmys this weekend, none of these is going to be easy. Like the salary renegotiations in 2010, leads Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco are expected to negotiate in one group and Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar in another. Observers expect Galecki, Parsons and Cuoco, currently at $350,000 an episode, to land north of $500,000 when it’s all said and done.
Big Bang is coming off its highest-rated season ever with a string of series highs. It is a mega hit for two networks, CBS and TBS, which airs it in off-network syndication, and a golden goose for producer Warner Bros TV.