The cast of long-running television comedy Big Bang Theory may be shaking up the industry in a big way. Original cast members Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, and Kunal Nayyar have reportedly agreed to take a pay cut in order to give fellow castmates Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik raises, according to Variety. The news comes after it was announced the show would likely be renewed for Seasons 11 and 12.
Bialik is Emmy-nominated and stars as Amy Farrah Fowler, Sheldon's live-in girlfriend. Meanwhile, Rauch plays Howard Wolowitz's wife Bernadette Rostenkowski. Both characters are undeniably huge assets to the show. Currently, Rauch and Bialik — who joined the show in Season 3, and became series regulars Season 4 — are reportedly making $200,000 per episode, according to Variety, while the OG's reportedly gross a whomping $1 million. The alleged pay cut would bring their rate down to $900,000 per episode, providing an additional $250,000 to Rauch and Bialik each and bringing their episode rate to $450,000.
CBS and WB have yet to comment on this and, according to People and Variety, the networks declined to do so. Update: Bialik's rep tells Bustle, "At this time we don't have any news to report on this."
Earlier: Bustle reached out to CBS for comment, as well as reps for Rauch and Bialik, but has not received a response at the time of publication. I'm hoping that the reports hold at least some truth. Taking a pay cut to ensure that your colleagues are getting a much-deserved raise speaks volumes about the camaraderie on set. And knowing all of this makes me more inclined to keep Big Bang Theory at the top of my list of shows to continue supporting.
Wrapping up Season 10, a lot of fans were expecting for the number one primetime comedy to come to a close sooner than later. It's not everyday that your favorite show makes it past the fourth season — unless it's part of Shondaland, of course. But, hearing that the show will likely be confirmed for at least two new seasons delivered a whole new type of excitement. The possibilities are endless for the show, and lucky for us, the station's execs seem to share the same sentiment.
CBS President Glenn Geller made it more than clear that he would love for the show to last forever. While speaking at the 2016 Television Critics Association’s press tour this past August, the television exec said, "We’ll put it on for as long as everyone wants Big Bang on the air." And if you were to survey any BBT fan, I can guarantee that most would like for it to stick around as long as possible.