5 Infamous Television Contract Disputes

The Big Bang Theory
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The Big Bang Theory

Could the cast of The Big Bang Theory’s contracts be any bigger?

According to stars Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Jim Parsons, and Johnny Galecki, the answer is a resounding yes. One of the most popular television ensembles since Friends are negotiating for a pay increase that would place them in the same pay grade as your favorite Central Perk locals.

Fans of the scientific sitcom can take solace in the fact that contract disputes occur rather frequently when dealing with successful television franchises—and they work it out, most of the time.

Here are five famous contract disputes you may not have known about from a few of your favorite shows.

1. The cast of Friends

Back in 2001, the cast of the trendy NBC series decided to band together and negotiate their new contract as a group. The result? Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, and Ross (sorry Gunther) ended up receiving a hefty pay increase to the tune of…


… per episode.

2. The cast of The Simpsons

The cast of the longest-running American sitcom had every reason to “have a cow” when Twentieth Century Fox asked the principal actors to take a 45% pay cut in order to continue the popular animated series. The cast eventually agreed to a 30% pay cut,as passionate Simpsons fans blissfully celebrated!


3. Charlie Sheen vs. Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre

Who can forget the infamous “Summer of Sheen?” From “Winning” to “Tiger Blood,” Sheen’s notoriously public legal dispute with Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre triggered the end of the Charlie Sheen era on the popular CBS sitcom. The polarizing actor was ultimately replaced by Ashton Kutcher.

4. The adults of Modern Family

Every family has their disputes and ABC’s hit series Modern Family is no exception. Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Ed O’Neill, and Sofia Vergara all received significant pay increases before the fourth season, after filing a lawsuit to void their original contracts.

5. Kim Cattrall in Sex And The City

What type of shenanigans would the fabulous foursome of New York City have gotten in to if Sex and the City made it to a seventh season? Sadly we’ll never know. Kim Cattrall, who memorably portrayed Samantha on the acclaimed HBO series, asked for a pay increase that would have bumped the star’s salary to $1 million dollars an episode for season seven.

“I felt after six years it was time for all of us to participate in the financial windfall of Sex and the City,” the actress stated.


Thankfully, the parties reconciled and Cattrall joined her former castmates for two Sex and the City films.


The Big Bang Theory is scheduled to premiere September 22 on CBS.

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