UPDATE: All systems are go! Warner Bros. TV has confirmed Big Bang Theory cast-members Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar have renewed their contracts.
“Production on season eight of The Big Bang Theory will begin Wednesday, August 6, with contract negotiations now having been concluded,” Warner said in a statement.
This should be welcome news to fans of the series, given producers had claimed Simon and Kumal’s characters would be written out of the show if an 11th hour compromise didn’t take place.
The Big Bang Theory contract negotiations that have already delayed production on the new season have reportedly come to an end, with the show’s stars signing lucrative new deals that put them in Friends territory.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, cast-members Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting and Johnny Galecki locked into new deals this weekend that reportedly triple their existing salaries of about $325,000 per episode, with each star set to take home $1 million per half hour of the hit CBS sitcom.
Mirroring the negotiating strategy used by the Friends stars, the three actors stood together during contract talks to secure the whopping salary increase, which also includes bigger chunks of back-end profits for each.
Meanwhile, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar are still in talks as they try to close the gap between their current salaries (reported to be about $100,000 per episode) and their costars. As THR reports, both actors are expected to have deals in place later this week.
Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch are the only members of the cast to have existing deals in place for the new season, both landing hefty raises when they re-upped last September.
It remains to be seen whether the production delay will result in a shortened season (23 episodes instead of the planned 24), but the show’s studio, Warner Bros. TV, remains confident that they’ll be able to make the deadline and have two brand-new episodes ready to air back to back on Sept. 22 when the show returns for its new season.