Production is set to resume for Big Bang Theory's eighth season as the stars have inked new deals -- with Raj and Howard almost being written off due to salary issues.
Fans of CBS' top-rated comedy The Big Bang Theory can rest easy, as production has now resumed for the show with all five core cast members resolving their payment issues. After salary negotiations pushed back Season 8's production start date, Warner Bros' and main star trio Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper), Johnny Galecki (Leonard Hofstader), and Kaley Cuoco (Penny) have finally agreed to the tune of new three-year contracts of $1 million per episode for Season 8. In comparison, the trio used to earn "just" $300,000 per episode. Once you factor in all the perks such as signing bonuses and back-end fees, the trio will most likely net north of $90 million over the three-year span.
As for Kunal Nayyar (Raj Koothrappali) and Simon Helberg (Howard Wolowitz), the duo have also agreed to new terms. While no exact figures have been revealed just yet, it's said Nayyar and Helberg's pay will jump to the "mid six-figure" range from the $75,000 and $125,000 (respectively) the two were paid previously. Sources also say that the duo negotiated through a lawyer who pushed hard for salary parity with Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco. Unfortunately, the studio didn't budge and reportedly even handed a take-it-or-leave-it offer and a deadline, with the actors' reps advised that both characters would be written out of the series if negotiations didn't pan out. Allegedly, it was not just the studio who was playing hardball, either -- exec producers Chuck Lorre and Steven Molaro were so frustrated by the prolonged salary negotiations that they were already preparing a script that did not involve both Helberg and Nayyar.
In a statement, Warner Bros. said, "Production on season eight of 'The Big Bang Theory' will begin Wednesday, August 6, with contract negotiations now having been concluded." There you go, Big Bang fans. Your favorite nerds will once again be back to tickle your funny bone -- and get insanely rich in the process.