It’s official: Hit sitcoms “Two and a Half Men” and “The Big Bang Theory” will remain on CBS for several years to come.
The Eye and Warner Bros. TV announced the mega-order on Wednesday, although the deal had been rumored for some time.
Under the new pact, “Two and a Half Men” has been given a three-season pickup, keeping the show on CBS through the 2011-12 season (its ninth), while the second-year “Big Bang Theory” has scored two more seasons, which will keep it on the Eye through 2010-11 (Daily Variety, March 4).
News of the deal first leaked out earlier this month (Daily Variety, March 3). But before both sides could officially announce the pickup, CBS and Warner Bros. TV had to hammer out a resolution to their legal spat over the cost of “Two and a Half Men.”
Warner Bros. filed a $49 million suit against CBS in December, arguing that CBS refused to pay sums it had agreed to hand over to the studio if “Two and a Half Men” turned into a hit.
Terms of a settlement haven’t been revealed, but it’s likely the huge renewal is a direct result of the skirmish.
Such lengthy renewals are rare, but “Two and a Half Men” and “Big Bang Theory” have played a key role in driving up ratings for the CBS Monday comedy lineup up this season by 9% in adults 18-49 and 13% in total viewers.
“Our collaboration with Warner Bros. and Chuck Lorre for these two series has been very good business for CBS,” said CBS Entertainment prexy Nina Tassler. “With these shows firmly in place, CBS is well positioned for more comedy success in the years ahead.”
Warner Bros. TV prexy Peter Roth thanked the net “for the support and long-term commitment they have made.”
“Two and a Half Men,” which stars Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer, Angus T. Jones, Marin Hinkle, Conchata Ferrell and Holland Taylor, is TV’s top-rated comedy, averaging a 5.1 rating/11 share in adults 18-49 and 15.1 million viewers overall.
Lorre, Lee Aronsohn, Eric Tannenbaum, Kim Tannenbaum, Mark Burg, Oren Koules, Don Foster, Eddie Gorodetsky, Susan Beavers and Mark Roberts exec produce.
As for “Big Bang,” which stars Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar, show is averaging a 3.7/10 in adults 18-49 and 10.1 million viewers overall. Lorre, Aronsohn and Bill Prady exec produce.