In 1996, the cast of Friends were making $40,000 per episode. By the end of their run, the actors raked in $1 million an episode. More recently, the Modern Family cast went from $65,000 to $175,000 an episode.
"These people are essential to the show," said TV Guide magazine's Matt Roush. "They're not going to be cut out of the show. The show is going to go on."
The Big Bang Theory averaged around 20 million viewers last season, making it the most watched comedy on television.