TV’s quirkiest couple, played by Melissa Rauch and Simon Helberg are looking for their just rewards as ‘The Big Bang Theory’ gets ready to air.
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Melissa Rauch and Simon Helberg / Getty
Big Bang Theory, the one of the most popular situation comedies on television, was for the past few years, comparing it to the mega hit “Friends” of the nineties.
Rumors come out of Hollywood are that the cast of the series are also looking to emulate Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry and Courtney Cox and all of the other stars, who succeeded in negotiating for themselves lucrative long-term contracts on the strength of the advertising revenues that the series brought in for Warner Bros for the 10 years that it ran.
And now the man who created “Friends” Chuck Lorre who is also the brain behind “the Big Bang theory” and another TV bestseller “Two and a half men” will be well aware of what’s coming next, with Rauch and Helberg, as well as the other four principal members of the Big Bang cast, all lining up and ready to negotiate for a new contract to cash in on the success of the series.
If one thing that Lorre and his bosses at Warner Bros. Television have learned from the successes of their TV series is the importance of keeping the same cast intact for as long as possible. This means that the chances of a reasonable request for salary hikes are liable be met favorably.
Those in charge of the negotiations on behalf of the studios will be taking into account the effects on the ratings of losing the kingpin of the long-running and highly successful “Two and a Half Men” series, Charlie Sheen two seasons ago with Angus T. Jones who grew from a boy to a man during the shooting of the series not continuing for this season meaning that “Two and a Half Men” have become just one. While Sheen has been replaced by Ashton Kuchter, who didn’t help Warner Bros. Television’s negotiating stance by commanding a fee of $750, 000 per episode.
Apparently the actors who play the leading characters in the “Big Bang Theory” Johnny Galecki, Jim Parson and Kaley Cuoco have combined to negotiate a package deal
Taking a cue from the “Friends’” cast successful salary negotiations in the 1990s, have banded together to demand big-time salary increases from their bosses at Warner Bros. Television.
Host Kaley Cuoco and (from L) actors Melissa Rauch, Simon Helberg, Mayim Bialik, Jim Parsons, Kunal Nayyar, Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki pose for a portrait during the 39th Annual People’s Choice Awards / Getty
With each of the three currently receiving just over $300, 000 an episode, and reported to be looking for at least half a million dollars and preferably three quarters of a million, the second ring of characters made up of Melissa Rauch, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar and Mayim Bialik are reported to be ending considerably less, with the stars hoping to increase their salary to $100, 000 per episode.
For the meantime Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch have reportedly been offered new contracts worth $60, 000 an episode, which is generous as both of them come into cast of the Big Bang Theory at the height of its run to add some romantic interest to the lives of Jim Parson (the enigmatic Dr. Sheldon Cooper) and Simon Helberg (full time geek and part time astronaut Howard Wolowitz).
Helberg who was a member of the cast from day one may be feeling left out with a contract reportedly to be worth just $120, 000 for each episode, while Kunal Nayyar, who plays Raj, is almost on the bread line at $75, 000.
Helberg and Nayar are also reported to be on the verge of renegotiating their contracts, and plan to do as a unit, playing on their status as long-running members of the cast.
Irrespective of where each cast member since in the pecking order it will all be aware that their greatest bargaining chip, was that each member of the cast of “Friends” were being paid $1 million per episode during the last season of the show.
Melissa Ivy Rauch was born in the Town of Marlboro Township in, New Jersey. Rauch reportedly developed an interest in acting as far back as High School, going on to graduate with a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree in acting from Marymount Manhattan College.
Rauch joined the cast of the Big Bang theory in 2009 playing Bernadette, first the girlfriend, later the fiancée and ultimately the wife of Howard Wolowitz.
Simon Helberg was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, into a family with a considerable background in the entertainment industry. ,
Helberg attended high school in Santa Monica, California, going on to attend New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Simon Helberg has been a member of the cast of the Big Bang Theory since it got underway in 2007 and is a recipient of the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.