×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Syndie ratings strong for ‘Big Bang’

'The Big Bang Theory' 100th Episode

When Warner Bros. execs took “The Big Bang Theory” out for sale in spring 2010, they knew they had a giant hit on their hands.

Since the show premiered in 2007, the sitcom had grown from the 49th-ranked scripted series among viewers in primetime to No. 7 in total viewers, and it was the fifth-highest ranked series in the 18-49 demo. The studio’s job was just to prove the show’s syndie potential to buyers and secure the highest possible price.

That turned out to be no problem. In a competitive bidding war, Fox held off Tribune to win the offnet broadcast rights in May 2010 and TBS outbid several other bidders for the cable rights.

All told, Warner Bros. reportedly reaped $2.5 million an episode for the sitcom, which is in line with the paydays of other top syndie laffers, including WBTV staples “Two and Half Men” and “Friends,” Sony’s “Seinfeld,” and CBS Television Distribution’s “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

“Big Bang” premiered in syndication well, nabbing 6.7 million viewers in its first week. That debut marked the strongest off-net opening of any syndie since “Men,” but the show grew from there. Less than two months later, “Big Bang” had grown to 9.8 million viewers.

” ‘Big Bang’ has taken over from ‘Two and a Half Men’ as the new, dominant ‘A’ sitcom on television,” says Ken Werner, president of Warner Bros.’ Domestic Television Distribution. “The future looks incredibly bright for the show.”

“From the start, ‘Big Bang’ was improving time periods for us, but now it’s doubling the time period and we’re seeing some really great results from it,” says Frank Cicha, senior VP of programming for the Fox Television Stations.

TBS is also happy with the early performance of “Big Bang,” where it airs four days a week in various time periods. Since the skein’s cable premiere in September, it’s grown from nearly 1.5 million viewers to nearly 2.4 million viewers in the week ending Dec. 5, an improvement of almost 60%.

“?’Big Bang’ is ideal for a network like ours,” says TBS topper Michael Wright. “It has great reach and it amplifies that brand we are trying to craft and sell — a contemporary, smart and funny network.”

‘THE BIG BANG THEORY’ 100TH EPISODE
Gals grow new ground | Authenticity apparent in scientific scenarios | Timeslot shuffles don’t slow ascent | Syndie ratings strong for ‘Big Bang’ | Cast confessions

More TV

  • 'Fleabag' Season 2 Review: How Its

    'Fleabag': Season 2’s Top 10 Breaks From Reality, Ranked (Column)

    The searing first season of “Fleabag” felt like a complete story in and of itself. As adapted from Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s one-woman show, the series expanded on the world of a woman wild with lust and grief with such expert ease that by the time it ended, even Waller-Bridge herself was sure that it was the [...]

  • Richard Madden Says 'Game of Thrones'

    Richard Madden Says the 'Game of Thrones' Cast Deserves a Medal

    Richard Madden is thankful for his time on “Game of Thrones,” but is also happy to have been able to move on when he did. The “Bodyguard” star sat down with “Sharper Objects'” Amy Adams for Variety’s Actors on Actors, where he expressed some incredulity at the idea of spending so long with just one [...]

  • MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r)

    Submissions Now Welcome for Third 'Meet the Press' Film Festival

    Chuck Todd’s quest to bring “Meet the Press” to the movies continues. The third annual Meet the Press Film Festival, held in collaboration with the American Film Institute, will take place on October 6 and 7 in Washington, D.C., and remains a haven for issue-focused documentary shorts. Todd believes the event serves a critical mission: [...]

  • Winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song

    Netherlands' Duncan Laurence Wins 2019 Eurovision Song Contest

    Madonna’s controversial performance may have grabbed the headlines, but Duncan Laurence won the nearly four-hour-long 2019 Eurovision Song Contest for the Netherlands with the song “Arcade,” which he cowrote with Joel Sjöö and Wouter Hardy. Laurence won a total of 492 points from the expert juries and televoters in a contest that was touch and [...]

  • 'SNL' Cold Open Has Alec Baldwin's

    'SNL' Cold Open Has Alec Baldwin's Trump Rocking Out to Queen

    The cold open for the season finale of “Saturday Night Live” saw the Trump administration taking some liberties with a rock classic. Alec Baldwin returned as President Donald Trump, letting America know that he is going to be taking it easy now that summer is nearly here. He then said he was going to do [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content