San Leandro, Calif. — Indian American actor Kunal Nayyar joined his “The Big Bang Theory” costars in insisting on a hefty pay raise, according to Deadline.com. They threatened to quit the show, and came out victorious.
Now, Nayyar will earn $1 million per episode. With his combined salary plus points for syndication, DVDs and overseas rights, he is expected to gross around $70 million.
Lovett Management, the Innovative Artists agency and James Hornstein, representatives for Nayyar, negotiated up till the last minute Aug. 5, the day before the table read of the next episode of the number one CBS sitcom. “Production on season 8 of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ will begin Aug. 6, with contract negotiations now having been concluded,” Warner Bros. Television said in a statement Aug. 5.
Nayyar tweeted a photo of page one of the script Aug. 6 with the comment “F***. Yeah. Season 8. #blessed.”
As it stands, Nayyar still earns around 70-80 percent of what the top stars of “The Big Bang Theory,” Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki, earn. He is expected to earn the same salary as those three top stars by season 10.
The CBS series, about four nerdy men and the women who tolerate them, is a ratings smash, averaging 21 million viewers per episode last year.
“The Big Bang Theory” will begin its eighth season with a one-hour episode Sept. 22.
Nayyar — who just returned to the U.S. after a trip to Delhi and Hyderabad shooting Aditya Bhattacharya’s NRI drama “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” with Sendhil Ramamurthy — will also be seen in the independent Canadian comedy “Dr. Cabbie,” produced by Salman Khan and opening in North America Sept. 19.