“The Big Bang Theory” stars want more money: I ruminate on TV shelf lives. An incredibly cool soccer goal. And Jim Kelly keeps fighting

The Countdown Reflection

Sometimes you just don’t know which side to take in a contract dispute. Like this one:
In news that matters only in the entertainment world, the cast of the “Big Bang Theory” is holding out for more money. Production on the upcoming season of the show has been delayed, and Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, etc. are asking for up to $1 million per episode (right now Parsons, Cuoco and Johnny Galecki get about $325,000 per.)

CBS has balked, thinking those demands are a little outrageous, and so now the show’s 8th season may be delayed.

When I saw a news story about it, I kinda shrugged, because contract demands made by actors are pretty common. But I started thinking about it and I realized that each side has a really good argument.

First, the actors: Cuoco and Parsons and Galecki were pretty much nobodies before “Big Bang” started; I mean, Galecki was Becky’s boyfriend on “Roseanne” but that was way long ago. So to them, “Big Bang” is their only shot at the big-time, and they want to earn as much as possible before doing Lifetime Movies of the Week for the rest of their lives. (Parsons would be the exception; dude has shown he can really act, in “The Normal Heart” and other projects.)

So sort of like athletes hit their primes, these actors are in their prime and want to make as much money as possible. They also know they’ve got huge value to CBS,  as a bona fide hit program the network wants on the schedule that brings in millions of ad revenue.
So yeah, I totally get why the actors are holding out for more money.

Then, though, I’m with CBS, too. These actors were nothing without this show, and if they really are stupid enough to throw it away because they’re not quite rich enough, let ’em.
Show them the career trajectories of David Caruso after leaving “NYPD Blue,” or Rob Lowe after leaving “The West Wing,” and watch how quickly they fall. You think Galecki or Cuoco are irreplaceable? You think a hit show is irreplaceable? No way.
So if I’m CBS, sure, I’d be pissed if I lost or delayed the season of a hit show over the stars’ salaries, but I’d also ask the actors how greedy they really need to be, and if it’s worth throwing away the best thing they’ll ever do just for a few more dollars.

Anyway, I’m rambling here, but I think stuff like this is fascinating. Who will blink first?

**And now, a pretty incredible soccer goal by a guy named Junior Dutra, in something called the Jupiler League.

Best bicycle kick I’ve ever seen.

**And finally, I’ve written about Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly’s battle with cancer before, and now ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” show has put together a fabulous piece on Kelly and his struggle, told just through the eyes and voices of Kelly and his family.
Get the Kleenex out, this is a beautiful piece. (If the embedded video doesn’t work anymore, try this link.


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