Deal for primetime’s No. 1 comedy runs through the 2016-17 season, shoring up a cornerstone of CBS’ schedule. “Big Bang” has logged its highest ratings to date this season, its seventh, averaging 19.79 million viewers and a 6.1 rating/19 share in adults 18-49.
Warner Bros. TV is also in the midst of contract renewal negotiations with key cast members Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting and others.
“Big Bang” is the brightest star in Chuck Lorre’s constellation of CBS comedies. Lorre and Bill Prady co-created the series and exec produce with Steven Molaro, who has been showrunner for the past two seasons.
“Comedy is a big part of our schedule, and ‘The Big Bang Theory’ is the biggest comedy force on television,” said CBS Entertainment chair Nina Tassler.
“This multiyear deal further strengthens our network’s position for future seasons and marks another chapter in the great partnership CBS enjoys with Warner Bros. Television for delivering audiences the best in comedy. We’re proud to work with and showcase the incredible talents of Chuck Lorre, Steve Molaro and this amazing cast every week,” she said.
Although “Big Bang’s” license deal with CBS expired after this season, there was never any drama about Warner Bros. TV shopping the show to other networks or rumors about a standoff over license fee negotiations. The show has been wildly profitable for the studio in syndication since 2011.
Financial details of the renewal were unclear, but CBS is undoubtedly covering all production costs on the series as well as adding a premium on top given that “Big Bang” is such a ratings dynamo.
Lorre looks to be having a good year as CBS is expected to renew his other trio of comedies: “Two and a Half Men,” “Mike and Molly” and frosh entry “Mom,” starring Anna Faris and Allison Janney.
“Two and a Half Men” has been renewed on a year-to-year basis since the show rebooted in 2011 with Ashton Kutcher stepping in for original star Charlie Sheen. There was some question about whether this current season would be the last for “Men,” but all signs are pointing to the show returning for a 12th season.