Does Jim Parsons Actually Make More From 'Young Sheldon' Than He Did On 'Big Bang Theory'?

Highlights Jim Parsons' career on The Big Bang Theory catapulted him to a multimillion-dollar net worth, surpassing even the ensemble cast of Friends. The success of his character Sheldon Cooper led to the creation of Young Sheldon, where Parsons now serves as an executive producer. While there are no reported figures, Parsons is rumored to be earning at least $1.5 million per season with the potential for increased backend profits.

When Jim Parsons started his career in the entertainment industry, it was clear that he was talented. However, even he could never have imagined that his time on the small screen would have brought him a multimillion-dollar net worth as the result of not only one but two hit television shows.

After all, before The Big Bang Theory came along, the highest-paid actor for a sitcom was the ensemble cast from Friends. And not only did Parsons and the cast of The Big Bang Theory blow that salary out of the water, but for Parsons, lightning struck twice.

One of the biggest draws to The Big Bang Theory was Parsons and his character Sheldon Cooper. Between the comedic timing and the lovability of the awkward character, fans could not get enough of Sheldon. As such, CBS saw that if they did things correctly, they could have a successful prequel series. And given the success of Young Sheldon, the stars all aligned to bring yet another hit show to the network, thanks in part to Parsons and his involvement in the show which almost did not happen.

The involvement in Young Sheldon at this point, however, is more behind the scenes. While it may have been necessary to have Parsons narrate the episodes to gain a fan base in the beginning, that is no longer the case. Because of this, Parsons' main role is that of executive producer on the show, a position that is lucrative and calls for no time in front of the camera, which falls in line with the change that Parsons was looking for with his career when he left The Big Bang Theory, no longer wanting a career in live audience television.

A move that begs the question, does Jim Parsons actually make more money from Young Sheldon than he did on The Big Bang Theory?

Jim Parsons Made Millions From 'The Big Bang Theory'

When The Big Bang Theory first aired, Parsons was already making more money for his role than most actors do before a sitcom has had a chance to find an audience.

This likely had to do with not only his keen negotiation skills but a stellar audition that left creators Bill Prady and Chuck Lorre in awe of what they had witnessed.

"We saw - oh God, I don't know, 100 people? And when Jim Parsons came in, he was Sheldon on a level - you know, there were people who came in, and you went, 'Okay, well, he's kind of okay,' 'Oh, he's pretty good,' 'Maybe he's the guy'," Prady explained about the casting process.

"And Jim came in, and he was just - from that audition, he was the Sheldon that you saw on the television. He created that character at that audition. And he left the room and I turned and I went, 'That's the guy! That's the guy!' And Chuck Lorre turned, and he said, 'Nah, he's gonna break your heart. He'll never give you that performance again.'"

Prady went on to say, "I have to say, in the story of my relationship with Chuck, the number of times that I'm right and Chuck is wrong may be... I'm gonna go with one.

This may be the only example of where I actually was right. And Jim Parsons came back in the next day and gave us that exact same performance again. It was like, 'This is Sheldon.'"

As a result of this audition, Parsons would start off his career on The Big Bang Theory with a salary of $60,000 per episode. That number was short-lived, however, as, by Season Two, Parsons was making $250,000 per episode. By Season Five, the amount had increased to $350,000 per episode, and Season Eight had jumped to $1.2 million per episode.

The final two seasons likely would have been more yet, but Parsons and his co-stars, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, and Kunal Nayyar took a pay cut so that Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik could be appropriately paid for their work on the sitcom when the network refused to budge on salary increases for the women.

Over the course of his 12 seasons on The Big Bang Theory, according to Celebrity Net Worth, Parsons made over $177 million in pure salary alone.

But he also negotiated to purchase one percent of the show so that he could make money off the back end as well. And in the first year alone, this amounted to $10 million.

'The Big Bang Theory' Would Have Continued If It Weren't For Jim Parsons

Given the success of The Big Bang Theory and the fact that it was bringing in nearly $1 billion in revenue per year, it is no wonder that executives wanted to keep the show running for as long as they could.

However, when Parsons decided not to renew his contract, executives, including Lorre, realized after some discussion that the show could not be successful without him. The decision was made to make Season 12 the final season.

"It's both as complex and as simple as just feeling innately that it was time. It speaks to a lot of things, none of them bad," Parsons explained.

"There is no negative reason to stop doing Big Bang. It felt like we have been able to do this for so many years now, it doesn't feel like there is anything left on the table.

Not that we couldn't keep doing it, but it feels like we've chewed all the meat off this bone. I guess at a personal level, it feels like the right time in my life. I don't know what's next for me. It's not like there is something specific I am aiming for."

But unlike his co-stars, Parsons was already working on a second hit show. That show was Young Sheldon, a less time-intensive show that Parsons has continued to be involved in after the end of The Big Bang Theory.

It has brought Parsons a pretty penny to add to his overall net worth, which Celebrity Net Worth puts at $160 million.

How Much Does Jim Parsons Make From 'Young Sheldon'?

There is no specific amount that has been reported that Parsons makes for his work as executive producer and sometimes voiceover actor on Young Sheldon.

However, at one point, it was rumored that Parsons was making "$1.5 million more" than the rest of The Big Bang Theory cast. If this is the case, that would mean that Parsons' payday from the prequel, which is a term fans of the show do not love, is approximately $1.5 million per season.

With Young Sheldon being on the air since 2017, that would mean that Parsons has taken home $9,000,000 thus far.

When contract negotiations were completed in 2021, the show was green-lighted for three more seasons. This means that minimally, Parsons will make another $1.5 million.

However, it was reported that Parsons "secretly" made a "huge deal" to take home backend profits from Young Sheldon. This will exponentially increase the $1.5 million made per season.

More often than not, the networks negotiate for multiple seasons at a time. As such, when 2024 rolls around, Parsons will know not only if Young Sheldon will be around for several more seasons, but he will also be able to negotiate for a higher salary as well.

As such, while Young Sheldon continues to bring in a great salary for Parsons, it is clear that his time on The Big Bang Theory was what built his fortune.

Just how high the fortune will grow in the future all depends on the revenue that Parsons earns for syndications and how much more work the ridiculously wealthy Parsons wants to be involved in.

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