The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco have each signed lucrative deals after months of negotiations over their new three-year contracts. The trio - who play Sheldon, Leonard and Penny on the number one US comedy - were rumoured to be seeking $1 million per episode, a mammoth increase from their reported current $350,000 a show.
The new contracts would make them the highest paid actors on US television ahead of Two and a Half Men's Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer who currently reportedly earn $700,000 and $620,000 an episode respectively.
The deal comes after co-stars Melissa Rauch (Bernadette) and Mayim Bialik (Amy) inked new contracts last autumn, with remaining duo Simon Helberg (Howard) and Kunal Nayyar (Raj) expected to close their deals ahead of a planned table read this Wednesday, according to Deadline.
The read-through was originally scheduled for last week, with contract negotiations responsible for the hold-up. The new deals mean the revised production date of 6th August is looking more likely as the cast reunite for series eight, the first of three seasons commissioned by CBS. The 72-episode order was announced earlier this year ensuring the hit sitcom will remain on screens until 2017 with the new contracts leaving the door open for a potential eleventh series.
The Big Bang Theory creator Chuck Lorre - who also conceived Two and a Half Men - had previously reassured fans the contract disputes would be resolved. "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."