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Here’s Why 'The Big Bang Theory' Cost $9 Million An Episode
2023/07/17

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"The Big Bang Theory" was a hugely popular TV show that ran for 12 seasons and featured a quirky friend group led by Sheldon Cooper and Leonard Hofstadter. The cast, including Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, and Kaley Cuoco, became incredibly successful and their net worth skyrocketed. The final season of the show reportedly cost around $9 million per episode to produce, but with $1 billion in syndication deals, this was a small expense for CBS.

The main cast members, including Parsons, Cuoco, Galecki, Simon Helberg, and Kunal Nayyar, eventually earned $1 million per episode. However, when it was revealed that Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch earned significantly less ($100,000 per episode), the five stars took a $100,000 pay cut to ensure their co-stars were fairly compensated.

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The chemistry among the ensemble cast was a significant factor in the show's success, making their payment crucial to maintaining the show's quality.

In addition to the main cast, "The Big Bang Theory" featured popular guest stars such as Wil Wheaton, John Ross Bowie, and Kevin Sussman. Wheaton received $20,000 per episode for his 17 appearances on the show, earning around $340,000 in total. Sussman, who eventually became a permanent cast member, earned approximately $55,000 per episode, while Bowie earned $50,000 per episode. The network spent a substantial amount on salaries for both the main and guest cast.

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One unique aspect of the show was its theme song, which was written and performed by The Barenaked Ladies. The band earned $1 million for the song's success, particularly through royalties from reruns. However, former band member Steven Page filed a lawsuit claiming he did not receive any earnings from the song, although the outcome of the lawsuit remains undisclosed. The theme song became just as popular as the show itself, contributing to its overall success.

Overall, "The Big Bang Theory" was a highly successful and beloved TV show. The cast's chemistry and the inclusion of popular guest stars played a significant role in its popularity. The show's high production costs, including the salaries of the main and guest cast, were easily offset by its massive syndication deals. Additionally, the theme song's success added to the overall financial impact of the show.

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