Seven seasons in, the melange of bright colours and shoehorned-in Star Wars gags that is Big Bang Theory is still the most popular sitcom in America, pulling in viewers in the tens of millions each week. As the show heads into season eight, several of its biggest stars are renegotiating their contracts and, as any sensible person would, they are looking to get PAID.

As of right now, only two of the show’s stars, Mayim Biyalik and Melissa Raunch, are signed on for the upcoming season. The remainder of the cast, Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar, kind of have Warner Bros. TV over a barrel, and are demanding big money for their return.

Under their old contracts, Parsons, Cuoco and Galecki earned around $350,000 US per-episode, with lucrative points off the back end (damn, I love that I finally got to write the phrase “lucrative points off the back end” in something). The Daily Mail reports, however, that they are holding out for $1,000,000 US per-episode to return. 

In other words, they are holding out for Friends money, and will probably get it, because Big Bang Theory is a blockbuster hit that generates billions of dollars in revenue. The new season is due to start filming on July 30, but may be delayed if everyone’s contracts aren’t wrapped up by then.

For those playing at home, Bang was the second-most popular show overall in the U.S. last year, beaten only by Sunday night football. The next most popular sitcom is Modern Family, at number 19 on the overall list. The top five rating sitcoms were rounded out by The Millers, Two And A Half Men and the now-departed How I Met Your Mother.

Picture via CBS