‘The Big Bang Theory’ original cast takes pay cut to get raises for Mayim Bialik, Melissa Rauch

We have solved the mystery of why CBS has not renewed its biggest hit, “The Big Bang Theory.” Turns out new contracts still need to be signed by the two most recent additions to the show, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch. The stumbling block has been their salaries, which are thought to be in the $200,000 per episode range. Though impressive enough, these pale next to the million dollar paychecks per week cashed by the original five cast members.

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To help out their colleagues, who joined the show in season three, this quintet — Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar — have offered to take a pay cut of $100,000 each per week. Helberg and Nayyar reached this mark in their negotiations with Warner Brothers several seasons back, bringing them up to the level enjoyed by the first three for a few years now.

Assuming this extra half million is split between Bialik and Rauch, that would mean they are pulling in $450,000 each per episode. Again, a nice chunk of change, but still just half of the $900K made by each of the first five on the show. However, Variety reports that the studio and network are “optimistic” a deal can be reached with these two talented women, who are key ingredients in the on-going success of the show.

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“The Big Bang Theory” was nominated at the Emmy Awards as Best Comedy Series from 2011-2014, and Parsons scored whopping six consecutive Best Comedy Actor Emmy bids of which he won four: 2010-2011 and 2013-2014. Bialik, who plays his girlfriend, earned four Emmy nominations for Best Comedy Supporting Actress between 2012 and 2015.

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