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article imageThe Big Bang Theory: Season 8 stalls over contract renewals

By Mathew Wace Peck     Jul 30, 2014 in Entertainment
Work on Season 8 of America's most-watched TV series "The Big Bang Theory" has failed to commence on time after its lead actors failed to turn up for work.
Principal cast members Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg were due to take part in a "table read" for the first episode of the season today, Wednesday, July 30.
It has been reported for some time that the actors are trying to negotiate higher salaries after the award-winning series was renewed for three further seasons.
Despite this, in mid-July, Warner Bros. Television insisted that they expected the eighth series to go ahead without a hitch. Of today's development, the BBC reports that the company was surprised.
According to a report in The Hollywood Reporter at the time, there had been "no movement in the negotiations," which had begun in September 2013, but importantly, the cast were "expected to return to work on the show's Burbank set at the end of the month when production begins, regardless of whether or not they have new contracts." That now seems to have been overly optimistic.
Previously, THR reported that Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco each earn $325,000 per half-hour episode, but "are seeking up to $1 million."
The Big Bang Theory title card
The Big Bang Theory title card
The Big bang Theory, which premiered on CBS in 2007, centres on a group of high-functioning science "geeks" who live in Pasadena, California, USA.
Parsons plays Sheldon Cooper, a theoretical physicist researching quantum mechanics and string theory; Helberg is Howard Wolowitz, an aerospace engineer; and Nayyar, Raj Koothrappali, an astrophysicist originally from New Delhi in India. Cuoco is an aspiring actor who lives across the hall from Sheldon.
It's popularity is undisputed, the sitcom being the most-watched TV show in the US — in 2013–14 it secured an average audience of 23.1 million.
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