Salary negotiations delay production on The Big Bang Theory

Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar are yet to agree contracts for the eighth series of the hit US comedy

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Salary negotiations delay production on The Big Bang Theory
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Pay disputes have stalled production on the eighth series of The Big Bang Theory.

Work on the new season was scheduled to begin earlier this week but principal cast members Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, John Galecki, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar are still locked in negotiations over their salaries. 

Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco are understood to be seeking to increase their salaries from £190,000 per episode to £584,000, according to The Hollywood Reporter, making them the highest paid actors on US television, ahead of Two and a Half Men's Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer who currently earn £415,000 and £367,500 respectively. 

Chuck Lorre - who created both The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men - had previously hinted that the pay deliberations would not affect the new series which was expected to begin with a table read on Wednesday.

"There are people at Warner Bros. Television and people representing the actors who have done this before," he said earlier this month. "This will work itself out. I think it's great; I want them all to be crazy wealthy because nobody deserves it more than this cast. It'll work out.  

The US sitcom is the most-watched TV show in America and was recently recommissioned for three more series, drawing it on a par with Friends which ran for ten seasons before coming to an end in 2004. 

"Due to ongoing contract negotiations, production on The Big Bang Theory - which was originally scheduled to begin today - has been postponed," said Warner Bros. Television in a statement.