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Why is the 'Big Bang Theory' renegotiating cast contracts?

When the television sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” premiered on CBS back in 2007, many wondered if the show was going to be a “big bang” like the title suggested or if it would fizzle out quickly. Much to everyone’s relief, the show has grown in popularity and is considered to be an incredible success as it pushes into its 8th season.

But talks of contract disputes between several cast members and the show’s production companies recently raised new concerns. Will the show continue or will the disputes go unresolved, halting production indefinitely? But while much of the nation is worried about if the show will go on, some of our California readers might be wondering about the contracts currently under dispute and why they are being renegotiated now.

As we have mentioned before on this blog, contracts are a staple in the entertainment industry, especially when it comes to actors and the projects they are working on. Before entering into a contract, an actor and the other parties working on the project, such as a production company, enter into negotiations to establish everything from time spent on the project to compensation.

After a certain amount of time though, the parties may want to renegotiate the terms of the agreement. This can include extending the contract or even changing the amount of compensation. Depending on the complexity of the contract or other contributing factors, this process can be quick and easy or lengthy and filled with disagreements.

This is what appears to be going on right now with “The Big Bang Theory.” Because of the show’s growing popularity, and possibly because two of the show’s actresses have already renegotiated their contracts, five of the show’s other stars are asking for a pay increase that would “net them as much as $1 million per episode.”

Chuck Lorre, the show’s co-creator, seems to be confident that renegotiations will not be a problem and asserts that the actors deserve a pay raise because “nobody deserves it more than this cast.”

Source: The Epoch Times, “Big Bang Theory Season 8 Production Delayed Over Contracts: Reports,” Jack Phillips, Aug. 3, 2014

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