Leads from "The Big Bang Theory"
Friends that stay together get paid together. Just like the NBC pals from 2002, Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco used teamwork in 2014 to negotiate their contracts for the eighth, ninth and 10th seasons of the CBS sitcom "The Big Bang Theory." According to The Hollywood Reporter, each actor is guaranteed $1 million per episode, as well as producing pacts that may increase their income to $100 million over the life of the contract. Parsons' three Emmy wins have earned him additional "consideration" as well. Quite a jump from their previous episodic salaries of $350,000.
As the No. 1 comedy in primetime, "Big Bang" still brings in about 5 million fewer viewers than "Friends" did in its heyday [source: Goldberg]. The ratings for the all-important 18-to-49-year-old demographic are only half of what "Friends" generated. But in 2013 and 2014, advertisers paid top dollar for commercial time on "Big Bang." Only "Sunday Night Football" ads cost more. Take that, friends.