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‘Big Bang Theory’ engagement, salary shocker: Is $500K/episode the show’s end?

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The "Big Bang Theory" engagement of Leonard and Penny shocked fans not only because it was unexpected, but also because it is forecasting the end of “The Big Bang Theory.” After seven seasons, the show has developed its story lines from a group of nerdy friends to a group of nerdy married or now engaged friends. But will the show go as far as moving on to nerdy babies? It is highly unlikely and as reported by the Canada Journal on May 11, there is every reason to be “worried that Big Bang Theory will start to fall now that Leonard and Penny are engaged.”

Last week’s engagement of Leonard and Penny, along with Howard and Bernadette’s discussion of babies and Sheldon’s surprisingly insightful advice to Raj about relationships, made it clear that the story line of the show is not going to remain stagnant, but that the writers of the show do want the themes to develop and grow.

Unfortunately, as the writers are increasing their story lines, so are the actors’ request for a higher salary. According to the above video, the actors are getting paid $350,000 per episode. Now, each of the main players is asking for at least half a million per episode, and they want the profits for the syndication of the show.

Getting paid half a million for a week’s worth of performing in a show is considered by some to be “outrageous.” The main actors of “Friends” (the show which ran for 10 years) reached a salary of one million per episode by the time the final season came around. But will “The Big Bang Theory” actors achieve the same goal?

Even though the show was renewed for three more years, the above Huff Post video points out that the comedy might have run its course. Nevertheless, high ratings appear to indicate that CBS will meet the actors’ demands for higher payments for each episode to keep the show alive – or will it?

Not to give away any of the previously reported spoiler alert about the final episode, it is noteworthy that Jim Parsons says that he has not seen any script yet after the season seven finale next week and that he does not know how (or if) Sheldon will come back in the fall. “I won't know until I come back and read the first episode [of season eight]," he says.

Last week’s “The Gorilla Dissolution” episode and the season seven finale are highlighting one important fact. “The fate of the core cast, many of whom still do not have new contracts for the recently announced seasons eight, nine and 10,” is hanging in the air as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

“The Big Bang Theory” engagement of Leonard and Penny was a wake-up call for the show’s fans to expect the unexpected. “As for Big Bang Theory's big three-season renewal (its second), the showrunner says the current plan calls for that to be the end of the nerdy comedy, though no formal decisions have been made. (Should the ratings juggernaut -- it's broadcast TV's No. 1 series among the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic -- continue to pull in gobs of viewers, it would be odd for the network and studio Warner Bros. Television to call it quits.)” But then again, the title of the show is – the big bang.

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