Three of the five principal stars of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ have signed new pay deals with Warner Bros. and the production of the new series can finally get under way.

The Big Bang Theory
'The Big Bang Theory' can now start filming again after a brief delay over pay for three of its stars

Filming of the eighth season of the hit US sitcom had been delayed since last Wednesday as its stars were negotiating pay rises to reflect the show’s enormous popularity. Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco have each signed new three year deals thought to be worth approximately $1 million per episode, a huge increase from their previous packages of $325,000 per episode.

The trio had reportedly been asking for “’Friends’ money”, referring to the kind of deals that the cast of six were receiving during that show’s final two seasons from 2002 to 2004. The trio reportedly adopted the same collective bargaining tactic with Warner Bros. in order to secure their new deals.

With everything else thrown in (advances towards the back end of production, signing bonuses etc.), Cuoco, Parsons and Galecki will likely earn somewhere between $90 million and $100 million over the lifespan of the deals, working on the assumption that each of the new seasons will contain 24 episodes as normal.

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The Big Bang Theory castThe Big Bang Theory cast can relax - they're rich!

Given ‘The Big Bang Theory’’s huge and enduring popularity, Warner Bros. is expected to top $1 billion in profits in that time span. Viewing figures for the last series regularly 20 million per episode, making it by a distance the most popular comedy in the US. Even repeat episodes regularly attract more viewers than some of the big networks’ original programming.

The show’s creator Chuck Lorre told The Hollywood Reporter about the filming delay: "this will work itself out. I think it's great; I want them all to be crazy wealthy because nobody deserves it more than this cast. It'll work out."

The other two members of the gang, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar, are still in talks over new contracts but are thought to be demanding less than their counterparts.

The new season is expected to start on September 22 with an hour-long special.