Warner Bros. TV and CBS are working towards securing a two-season renewal for the hit TV show, The Big Bang Theory. A hurdle that both sides have yet to clear are the contracts for Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch, who play Amy Farrah Fowler and Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz, respectively. The actresses are in the $200,000 per episode range as opposed to the salaries of the original five cast members who each receive $1 million per episode. The original five cast members are willing to take pay cuts, however, so the actresses can receive raises according to Variety.
The original five cast members from The Big Bang Theory, which include Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg, who play Sheldon Cooper, Leonard Hofstadter, Penny Hofstadter, Rajesh Koothrappali, and Howard Wolowitz respectively, have all agreed to each take a $100,000 pay cut per episode to bring their two costars up to around $450,000 each per episode for the final two seasons.
The original five cast members, who all appeared in the first episode of The Big Bang Theory, signed separate contracts from their two costars, who both appeared during season 3 and became regular cast members in season 4, hence the difference in per episode salary.
The two actresses have become essential to The Big Bang Theory, each adding new elements that weren’t previously present before their arrival. Amy Farrah Fowler is Sheldon Cooper’s girlfriend and has given Sheldon a chance to develop emotionally where the character was sorely lacking. Bernadette Wolowitz appeared in season 3 and became Howard’s girlfriend. The couple dated for a while and then married in season 5. The latest season brings the couple’s first child into the mix.
The characters are fan favorites of the series as well with Mayim Bialik, in particular, winning four consecutive Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actress from 2011-2015. Negotiations for the two actresses’ contracts are under way this week.