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Is Penny leaving ‘The Big Bang Theory?’ Report says Kaley Cuoco unhappy with attention given to Melissa Rauch’s character

Melissa Rauch Kaley Cuoco

Actors Melissa Rauch and Kaley Cuoco winners of Favorite Network TV Comedy and Favorite TV Show for ‘The Big Bang Theory’, pose in the press room during the People’s Choice Awards 2016 at Microsoft Theater on January 6, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Reports say Cuoco is unhappy with the amount of attention being given to the pregnancy plot of Rauch’s character, Bernadette. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

A pregnancy storyline for ‘The Big Bang Theory’ actress Kaley Cuoco may be the only way to keep her character Penny on the show, according to a report from Morning News USA.

The website says Cuoco is unhappy with the amount of attention being given to the pregnancy plot of co-star Melissa Rauch’s character Bernadette, who is expecting a baby with husband Howard Wolowitz, and a pregnancy for Penny and her husband Leonard Hofstadter may be the only way Cuoco will agree to stay on the show.

The cast’s contracts are up at the end of the current season and no announcements have been made regarding a renewal for season 11. In an interview with talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, Cuoco said extending the series past season 10 would be “a very expensive question for a lot of people.”

Deadline reports the three main cast members — Cuoco, Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki — each make $1 million per episode under the current contract, while Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg each make $750,00 per episode. Mayim Bialik and Rauch each earn $100,000 per episode. ‘The Big Bang Theory’ men were all among the top five highest paid TV actors on Forbes’ 2016 list, while Cuoco was number two on Forbes’ highest paid TV actresses list.

“We are very confident that everyone involved wants more Big Bang past year 10,” CBS chief Glenn Geller said during the Television Critics Association press tour, according to Entertainment Weekly. “We’ll put it on as long as everyone wants Big Bang on the air. I hope it lasts forever.”

In 2014, production on the show’s eighth season was delayed because of cast contract negotiations.

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