It's official: Big Bang Theory co-stars Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch have closed new deals to return to TV's No. 1 comedy.
The stars, who both boarded later in the CBS comedy's run, had been holding out for salary parity with original castmembers Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Bialik and Rauch scored significant raises - but not parity. (They were not expected to get the bump to $1 million an episode they'd been seeking.) CBS and producers Warner Bros. Television declined comment.
Four-time Emmy nominee Bialik and Rauch's five colleagues each took a $100,000 per episode pay cut (the five originals will be making $900,000 an episode) in a show of support for their co-stars. Rauch and Bialik's deals are said to be for more than $425,000 per episode, up significantly from the $175,000 they negotiated three years ago. The latter deal was brokered before Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco - who negotiated together - each signed $1 million per episode deals that first brought the trio into Friends-level territory. (Helberg and Nayyar saw their salaries this season jump to parity with Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco as part of a "favored nations" clause from their last round of negotiations three years ago.)
CBS renewed The Big Bang Theory - TV's No. 1 comedy among the advertiser-coveted adults 18-39 demographic - for two additional seasons, taking the series through its expected end game in season 12. As part of the pickup, the original five stars each signed new deals and took a pay cut to support Rauch and Bialik, who have become integral parts of the Chuck Lorre-Steve Molaro comedy. (Rauch's Bernadette is married to Helberg's Howard; Bialik's Amy is romantically paired with Parsons' Sheldon.)
Bialik and Rauch both joined Big Bang Theory in season three and were promoted to regulars a year later. They negotiated together. Bialik is repped by WME and Primary Wave; Rauch is with WME, Untitled Entertainment and Peikoff Mahan.
Filming on season 10 of The Big Bang Theory wrapped this week.
Next up for producers Warner Bros. Television is negotiating new overall deals with co-creator Lorre and showrunner Molaro, who both are expected to re-up with the independent studio.
The Big Bang Theory will likely be paired with its Parsons-produced prequel Young Sheldon, picked up straight to series from Lorre and Molaro with the actor set to narrate, next season.