The tail end of the American summer is the time when all your favourite TV shows and The Big Bang Theory begin rehearsing and shooting for another year. As of right now, though, Big Bang is stalled thanks to an ongoing salary dispute, which has begun eating into production time.

Going into its eighth season, the cringe-ingly awkward ensemble comedy is the most popular series on American television. Unfortunately for the producers, the main cast’s contracts are all up for renewal, and they’re demanding massive pay increases in line with its popularity.

When we last reported on the Big Bang situation a few weeks back, main cast members Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki and Jim “Bazinga” Parsons were holding out for $1 million per episode to be part of the insanely lucrative show, which is set to continue for at least three more years.

As of this weekend, however, they still haven’t gotten their way, and it’s wreaking havoc with production schedules. Big Bang has already missed five production days, including table reads and a proposed shooting day. Variety report that the standoff is so bad, the eighth season might have to trim an episode.

The main problem, at this stage, is that each actor’s agent is negotiating separately, which means they’re all waiting to hear what everyone else is getting, before demanding that amount for their clients as well. 

As well as that, representatives for Jim Parsons – the show’s ostensible star and its catch phrase-dispenser-in-chief – are holding out for an even bigger slice of the pie than his co-stars, given his awards track record and star status.

It is hoped the dispute will be resolved by Sunday night.  If not, then fans of Big Bang Theory – which, I’ll admit, features lots of bright colours and loud noises and is weirdly soothing if you’re in a zombie-like state after a long day – will just have to content themselves with watching this over and over:

Image via IGN