'Big Bang Theory' postpones production following contract disputes

Cast members of

Cast members of "The Big Bang Theory" REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

Tim Kenneally, Reuters

, Last Updated: 11:54 AM ET


LOS ANGELES - “The Big Bang Theory” has hit a stumbling block on its way to another season.

Production on the series, which was due to begin Wednesday, has been postponed as series stars including Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco continue to negotiate their contracts.

“Due to ongoing contract negotiations, production on ‘The Big Bang Theory’ - which was originally scheduled to begin today - has been postponed,” Warner Bros. Television said in a statement Wednesday.

The series, a ratings giant for the network, is scheduled to return to the air Sept. 22.

The comedy, co-created by Chuck Lorre, was nominated for a handful of Emmys this year, including Outstanding Comedy Series, as well as nominations for Parsons and supporting castmember Mayim Bialik.

It seems unlikely that a resolution won’t be reached with the negotiating cast members; the series, which is heading into its eighth season, was renewed for three seasons earlier this year, and it’s the network’s top-rated show as well as the top-rated series on television.

Earlier this month at the Television Critics Association press tour, CBS entertainment chair Nina Tassler expressed confidence that the negotiations would reach a satisfactory conclusion.

The series is also no stranger to contract renegotiations; in 2010, Parsons, Cuoco and Galecki reportedly received a pay bump to $200,000 an episode, up from the $60,000 they were receiving previously.

It’s also not surprising that the castmembers would seek a bigger piece of the pie - as of last fall, the series commanded $326,260 per 30-second advertising spot, the most of any programming outside of NFL games.

And, production delay aside, so far the latest round of “Big Bang Theory” negotiations is relatively benign. A contract dispute with the cast members of ABC’s hit comedy “Modern Family” resulted in a lawsuit filed by the actors, which was dropped when the dispute was resolved in 2012.

The series, for which Lorre serves as showrunner, is produced by Warner Bros. Television and Chuck Lorre Productions.


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