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Big Bang stalls on pay rise dispute

The Big Bang Theory's filming for season eight is being held up by a dispute over pay from the cast.

Sitcom stars Jim Parsons (Sheldon), Johnny Galecki (Leonard), Kaley Cuoco (Penny), Simon Helberg (Howard) and Kunal Nayyar (Raj) are reportedly asking for an increase of more than 100 per cent on their 300,000 dollar per episode deal (£178,000) according to People.

Deadline said they are expecting to cross the 1 million dollars per episode mark (£593,500) that the Friends cast commanded in their final season.

In 2010 a similar wrangle went on with the cast continuing filming as they were under contract, but this time as their contracts expired at the end of last series, the production schedule is being held up.

So far, production has been halted for two days with a deal still being thrashed out between the stars and the show bosses.

The Big Bang Theory's season eight is due to open with an hour-long premiere on September 22 in the US, where it is a hit for broadcaster CBS.

The channel's chairman Nina Tassler said at the Television Critics Association event last month that she wasn't worried about the negotiations: "We're feeling very confident that everything will work out. These deals manage to get done somehow miraculously year after year."

Melissa Rauch (Bernadette) and Mayim Bialik (Amy) are the only cast members who could have begun filming as they renegotiated their contracts in the autumn.

PA Media