"The Big Bang Theory" stars Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar, and Simon Helberg are reportedly offering to take pay cuts just to keep the series on the air for two more seasons.
It was reported last year that Warner Bros. TV and CBS are eyeing a two-season renewal for the top-rating sitcom. However, contract negotiations for the show's potential 11th and 12th season recently hit a snag because cast members Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch are seeking parity with their costars.
Multiple sources have confirmed to Variety that the five original cast members (Parsons, Galecki, Cuoco, Nayyar and Helberg) are now offering to take a small pay cut to free up money for Rauch and Bialik. In the latest contract, both actresses are earning $200,000 per episode while the original five earn around $1 million per episode. Should the series continue, the main cast will be earning $100,000 less per episode to raise the pay for Rauch and Bialik, which would amount to almost $450,000 an episode.
Since their introduction in season 3, Rauch and Bialik have become important to the long-running comedy. Bialik earned four Emmy nominations for her role as Amy Farrah Fowler, Sheldon's (Parsons) girlfriend, while Rauch's Bernadette Rostenkowski ended up being Howard's (Helberg) wife and the mother of their first child.
Back in August 2016, executive producer Steve Molaro said in an interview that he wasn't considering season 10 as the show's final run. However, he already has a clear picture of how he wants the story to end.
"I have personal thoughts that have been floating around in my head, but we haven't really talked about it," he explained. "It always seems like this thing that's off in the distance forever. Until it becomes closer to a reality, I'm not going to think about it all that much, because it makes me sad," Molaro went on to say.
The 10th season of "The Big Bang Theory" airs every Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.