The three biggest stars on “The Big Bang Theory” – Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting and Johnny Galecki – are about to sign new, three-year deals that will pay them the same $1 million-per-episode salaries that were rewarded to the cast of “Friends” in its final season, People reports via Deadline.
Their contracts are expected to include a bigger share of the profits from rerun sales and development deals with Warner Bros. TV, the studio that produced “Friends” and is now responsible for the top-rated “The Big Bang Theory” for CBS.
The substantial raise equates to a whopping 185 percent jump from the reported $300,000-plus an episode the trio had been earning. That would easily make the three actors among the highest paid on TV.
Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar – who play Howard Wolowitz and Raj Koothrappali – still need to iron out their new contracts before production on the eighth season can resume, one insider tells People. If all goes well, the cast could return to work in Burbank, Calif., as early as Wednesday in preparation for the comedy's Monday, Sept. 22, return on CBS at 8 p.m. with an hourlong premiere before reclaiming its Thursday timeslot later in October.
Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik, who play Bernadette Rostenkowski and Amy Farrah Fowler, already have deals in place.
The earning power of the “TBBT” actors reflects the huge popularity of the comedy, which at 20.3 million viewers, just wrapped its most-watched season yet, CBS tells People.
Since “TBBT” reruns make truckloads of cash for Warner Bros. TV, interest in the actors's salaries has always been high – a phenomenon not lost on Cuoco.
"I would be lying if I said I couldn't do Penny with my eyes closed," Cuoco told EW in 2012. "It's such second nature to me now. But if I ever do get those moments of, 'God, this feels the same,' I just read those articles about how much money I make and think, 'You know, it's not so repetitive anymore!' "
Frank Sinatra tribute artist Charles Stayduhar Jr., 51, of Lawrenceville finished second in the annual Hoboken Sinatra Idol contest June 12 at Stevens Institute of Technology’s DeBaun Auditorium in Hoboken, N.J. — Sinatra’s hometown.
Stayduhar, one of 15 contestants, received 24 out of 25 possible points from the five judges for his rendition of “My Way.” Tied with another contestant, he sang “Luck Be a Lady” in the sing-off to break the tie.
“Ultimately, the other contestant won, but I could not be more proud of my performance,” said Stayduhar, who has been performing Sinatra tribute shows for about 15 years.
His second-place prize was a gift basket with gourmet chocolates, coffee and gift certificates to Hoboken-area restaurants and bars.
You can see videos of Stayduhar singing Sinatra songs on YouTube.
A day after People broke the news of his split from fiancee Nicole Murphy, “Live with Kelly and Michael” co-host Michael Strahan had a joyful night as he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.
"This has been the best weekend of my life," Strahan said in an emotional and funny speech, calling himself "an improbable" football star.
Onstage at the Canton, Ohio, ceremony, the former New York Giants standout said that he never wanted to play football when he was growing up and that his brothers teased him about being chubby as a kid.
Then "the improbable happened again," Strahan said. "I get drafted by the New York freakin' Giants."
Strahan – who went on to become one of the greatest defensive ends in NFL history and who clinched a Super Bowl win in his final season – joked that he was "still scared" of former teammate Lawrence Taylor.
He wrapped up his speech by giving a shout-out to his "TV wife," Kelly Ripa, who blew him a kiss. "Thank you, baby," he said, smiling at her. Singer Usher and Strahan's colleague, “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts, were also in the audience, cheering him on.
Strahan's Hall of Fame induction came one day after Nicole Murphy's rep confirmed that she had "ended her five-year engagement" to the retired NFL player.
"They love each other very much, but with the distance and work schedule it has been hard to maintain the relationship," his rep told People.
The pair, who have nine children between them, first started dating in 2007. Murphy, 46, was previously married to Eddie Murphy, while Strahan is divorced from second wife Jean Muggli.
After dating for more than two years, Cheryl Hines and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said "I do" before a cheering crowd of friends and family Saturday at the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport, Mass. – under a tent at a home once owned by President John F. Kennedy and wife Jackie.
The actress, 48, and the political activist, 60, became engaged in May 2014.
"It's fun that the two families are coming together," she told People in June. "It's very sweet that way. I come from a big family and the Kennedys are a big family. It feels natural. It feels fun."
Hines wore a white strapless tea-length gown by Romona Keveza for the ceremony, and Kennedy slipped a Neil Lane wedding ring on her finger, which complemented her engagement ring, also designed by the jeweler.
The wedding took place during the family's annual reunion and besides many Kennedys, other guests, included Larry David, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Sen. Ed Markey, Kevin Nealon and Ed Begley Jr.
The couple wed during a "casual ceremony," before celebrating with a reception "at Teddy's place" on the family compound, Kennedy told The New York Times.