(USA TODAY) The top three stars of The Big Bang Theory, TV's top-rated comedy, have agreed to rich new contracts that will see their salaries tripled — and end a standoff that delayed production on the show's eighth season by a week.
Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco, all without contracts since May, will make $1 million an episode for the next three seasons, according to Deadline, or a total of $72 million apiece.
They'll also get a larger share of profits from syndication of the series, a multibillion-dollar property for Warner Bros. Television. The three stars were making about $325,000 an episode in recent seasons; their new paydays are in the same ballpark as the cast of Friends received for that Warner Bros. show's final seasons.
Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch signed new contracts last year and were not subject to renegotiations.
Still on the fence are co-stars Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg, who are expected to complete talks early this week. CBS and Warner Bros. are hoping to begin production Wednesday, which would not affect delivery of new episodes for the show's planned double-episode premiere on Sept. 22, in its temporary Monday home. A Warner Bros. spokeswoman declined comment.