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The Big Bang Theory: the Earnings Brought in by the Cast

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When The Big Bang Theory first came on the air on the 24th of September, 2007, its producers, writers, and cast members, like every other crew of a TV show, hoped it would become a successful show. However, while not every crew member gets to live that hope, ‘Big Bang Theory crew got to as the show became the leading sitcom on television for a majority of its 12-year run, and several of its cast members grew in net worth as they became multimillionaires. Not only did they become multimillionaires from their time on the show, but they became global stars, with several million fans across the world. As millionaires, several of the cast members became some of the highest-paid actors and actresses on television, racking in as much as $1 million per episode. With the show finally over after twelve seasons, we take a look at how much exactly did The Big Bang Theory transform the financial lives of its cast members, by taking a look at the net worth of each ‘Big Bang Theory star today.

Jim Parsons

When Jim Parson began his career in 1993, like every other new actor, he hoped to last long in the business and be successful but one doubts he expected it to happen this way. The actor, who had appeared in shows like Taste, Ed, Why Blitt?, and movies like Happy End, Garden State, the Great New Wonderful before he was cast on The Big Bang Theory in 2007, went on to become the most popular face of the show, via the character, Sheldon Cooper. He was a lead actor on the show during its entire run, appearing in all 279 episodes of the show. Like the show itself, which started slowly in ratings and popularity, Jim Parsons was earning $60 thousand per episode for the first three seasons of the show, gradually going to incremental increase with the passing of a couple of seasons until the eighth season when Jim Parsons began to earn $1 million per episode. He, along with the rest of the principal cast took a pay cut in the tenth season of the show to earn $900 thousand per episode. His mega earnings on the show, combined with his other appearances in other projects like Hidden Figures, Home, Visions and a few others, have earned him an estimated net worth of $70 million.

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Johnny Galecki

Johnny Galecki began his career well before Jim Parsons in 1987 and had a lot more presence in the industry before he was cast in the sitcom. He had appeared in movies like Bean, Suicide Kings, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Bookies, etc and shows like Roseanne, Billy, and Blind Faith prior to his debut appearance on the sitcom.

However, just like Jim Parsons, he began his time on The Big Bang Theory earning $60 thousand per episode and at the end of every three seasons, increased his salary to $200 thousand, and then $350 thousand and eventually, $1 million per episode, which he earned for a couple of seasons before he got a pay cut to $900 thousand, which he earned till the end of the show. During his time on the show, Johnny Galecki, who played Leonard Hofstadter on ‘Big Bang Theory, appeared on other shows like Entourage, The Conners, and movies like Hancock, In Time and The Cleanse, totaling up to a net worth of $50 million.

Kaley Cuoco

Rounding up the big three is Kaley Cuoco, who played Penny on ‘Big Bang Theory, also appeared in all 279 episodes of the show. Her salary journey on the show mirrored that of the other two main cast members. Kaley Cuoco first got her breakthrough as an actress in the sitcom, 8 Simple Rules where she starred as Bridget Hennessy but it was her role as Penny on the show that truly made her a Hollywood star. During her time on the show, Kaley, who has built a filmography with over 60 movies and TV shows, which includes other major works like The Wedding Ringer and Monster Allergy, has been able to amass a net worth of $55 million, with the bulk of it coming from her work on The Big Bang Theory.

Simon Helberg

Simon Helberg is a comedian and a musician, and he began his career in 1999 with his first notable working being Derek & Simon: The Show, which was a web series. Simon Helberg joined The Big Bang Theory in 2007 as a supporting character on the show, earning between $20 and $30 thousand per episode. After a few seasons, his pay was increased to $100 thousand per episode and eventually, in the tenth season of the show, he began to earn as much as the big three, earning $1 million per episode. He earned the large sum for three seasons before getting a pay cut as the rest of the cast to $900 thousand to fund an increase in the salaries of Mayim Bialik and Melissa Raunch. Apart from his appearances on ‘Big Bang Theory, which has contributed the most to his $45 million net worth, Simon Helberg has appeared in other works like We’ll Never Have Paris, I Am I, Florence Foster Jenkins, The Guild, King Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness.

Kunal Nayyar

Kunal Nayyar is perhaps one of the most successful Indian actors in Hollywood and it is all thanks to his role as Rajesh Koothrappali on The Big Bang Theory. Prior to appearing on the CBS sitcom, Kunal Nayyar, who is a British-Indian actor, appeared in a singular show, NCIS, in an episode and the movie S.C.I.E.N.C.E. Since he began appearing on the show, where he plays an astrophysicist in the science-themed show, he has made appearances in other major projects like Trolls, The Scribbler, The Mindy Project and Sanjay and Craig.

Aside from his onscreen roles, Kunal Nayyar has also made several appearances in theatre plays, in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Over the course of his filmography thus far, where he has over 20 movies and TV Shows, he has been able to accrue a net worth of $45 million, most of which were earned from ‘Big Bang Theory, where he shared a similar salary trajectory with Simon Helberg.

Melissa Rauch

The first five casts on the show started appearing on the show as supporting characters from the onset of the show but Melissa Rauch began appearing on the show in its third season as a recurring character, playing Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz. She started as a waitress in The Cheesecake Factory before becoming the fiancé of Howard Wolowitz, playing by Simon Helberg, a character journey that best symbolizes her journey from being a recurring character on the show to becoming a main character in the fourth season right to the 12th season. She started on the show earning between $20-30 thousand per episode, eventually getting bumped to $60 thousand following her status as a main cast member. After a couple of years of being on the show, Melissa Rauch was earning as much as $500 thousand per episode, becoming one of the highest-earning actresses in Television in the process. Prior to appearing on The Big Bang Theory, Melissa Rauch appeared in Delirious, 12 Miles of Bad Road, Kath & Kim and has since appeared in other projects like The Office, True Blood, all of which has earned her an estimated net worth of $8 million.

Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik may not be the highest-earning woman on the show, but in a science-themed show, she was the only science-oriented personality on the show considering she is a certified neuroscientist. Before appearing on ‘Big Bang Theory, Mayim Bialik had been acting since she was twelve years old and had appeared in works like Lloyd in Space, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Blossom, MacGyver and a host of others. Mayim Bialik began appearing on the show as Amy Farrah Fowler as a guest actress in the third season of the show and was eventually promoted to the main cast in the fourth season, through to the 12th season. She famously played a neuroscientist who is also the love interest of Sheldon Cooper on the show. Her earnings curve on the show is very much similar to that of Melissa Rauch and although she has been able to boast of her bigger net worth of $25 million as a result of her longer filmography, which has appearances in over 50 movies and TV shows.

Aside from her acting career, Mayim Bialik also has a YouTube channel where she earns some income through YouTube Ads. For the main cast i.e Galecki, Parsons and Cuoco, their contract with CBS ensures a certain percentage (10%) in back-end money and as a result, ensures the cast is set to earn as much as $10 million year-on-year through reruns of the show. Other than the main cast, other notable cast members over the course of the show include Kevin Sussman who played Stuart Bloom on the show, who has a net worth of $3 million. John Ross Bowie, who played Barry Kripke, has a net worth of $3 million, while Wil Wheaton, who plays himself on the show, has a net worth of $500 thousand, Sara Gilbert, who played Leslie Winkle has a net worth of $35 million and Laura Spencer, who played Emily Sweeney has a net worth of $4 million.


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