Kaley Cuoco has a shot at becoming the highest paid actress on television. The stars of "The Big Bang Theory" are negotiating with Warner Bros. to get a bump in pay for the next season of the show. According to a report from People on Thursday (July 31), the main three cast members want a raise from their current $300,000-per-episode salaries. There are rumors that they (Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, and Kaley Cuoco) are asking for as much as $1 million per episode. Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar are also reportedly on board with the hold-out.
This has completely stalled production of new episodes, meaning CBS and Warner Bros. could get behind schedule very soon. The eighth season premiere of the show is scheduled for Sept. 22, meaning production needs to get started pretty soon. It has been reported that they can roll out episodes of the show on short notice, so if the contracts are figured out by the end of August everything should work out fine. If it goes any longer than that, though, new episodes of "The Big Bang Theory" could get delayed.
By having the whole cast as for raises at the same time, it brings to mind the way that the cast of "Friends" would negotiate their contracts. They held out as a group, showing that no single actor or actress was more important than another, and it was a tactic that ended up working very well for them. In the final season of the show, each of the six stars made $1 million per episode and could have possibly stuck around for another year if they had not wanted to break away and focus on their movie careers.
Currently the highest paid actor on TV is Ashton Kutcher, who made $24 million for the last season of "Two and a Half Men" on CBS. John Cyer wasn't too far behind at $21 million and Ray Romano made about $16 million thanks mainly to repeat episodes of "Every Loves Raymond." Sofia Vergara of "Modern Family" is currently the highest paid actress, but Kaley Cuoco would pass her if she ends up making close to $1 million an episode.