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The Big Bang Theory is one of the biggest shows on television, and it’s still going strong in the middle of its tenth season. Surprisingly, the show has not yet gotten the official renewal order from CBS. We recently learned that the five principal actors were in final negotiations for new contracts, but CBS still didn’t announce a renewal. Now, we may know why there has been no official word about Season 11 and beyond. As it turns out, contract negotiations between CBS and actresses Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch are reportedly ongoing.

Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch have been important members of the Big Bang Theory cast since way back in Season 3. Nevertheless, the two actresses have made significantly less per episode than Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar, and Simon Helberg. The two women currently make around $200,000 per episode, which is no small chunk of change, but it pales in comparison to the $1 million that the other five actors take home each week. Bialik and Rauch are evidently holding out for a better deal for any and all remaining seasons of the show.

Luckily, it seems that Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch have the support of their fellow actors in their efforts to get raises in their new contracts. Sources indicate that Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar, and Simon Helberg have all agreed to accept a cut in their salaries in order to free up money for Bialik and Rauch to get their raises. Variety reports that the original cast members volunteered to give up $100,000 per episode, which means an extra $500,000 will theoretically be available for Bialik and Rauch’s contracts. Assuming that the money would be split evenly between the two actresses, they could be taking home nearly half a million dollars per episode under new contracts.

There’s also the possibility that Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch will hold out for pay parity for any new contracts. If they expect CBS to find a way to pay the entire cast closer to the $1 million per episode mark, we can bet that negotiations will be ongoing for a while still. Their characters are essential to the series, but pay parity between all members of the cast would mean that episodes of The Big Bang Theory would cost around $7 million each just to pay the actors. When factoring in all the other costs for running a successful sitcom, the price tag per episode gets pretty high.

The stakes are especially high for these Big Bang Theory negotiations due to the fact that CBS is not looking to lock down the actors for just one more season. The deals currently being worked out are reportedly for Season 11 and Season 12. This wouldn’t be the first time that Big Bang has scored a multi-season renewal, and the actors clearly know what to look for in such contracts.

Hopefully CBS and the actors can all agree on terms for new contracts sooner rather than later. You can catch new episodes of The Big Bang Theory Season 10 on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS, and don’t forget to take a peek at our midseason TV premiere schedule to check out all your other viewing options.

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