CBS can exhale: ‘Big Bang’ will likely return
The network is close to making deals with the five stars
February 16, 2017
For months, CBS has been holding its breath, wondering whether its top show in 18-49s, “The Big Bang Theory,” will be back for an 11th season.
The network has been negotiating with the cast over the comedy’s return for more than a year, and at times it seemed some of them were ready to move on after a decade on the show.
But it appears the network has gotten its way.
“Bang” will return next season, with the cast poised to sign a two-year deal that would keep the show on the air through spring 2019.
Les Moonves, the head of CBS Corp., told reporters during a conference call to discuss the company’s earnings on Wednesday that the network is “very close” to signing the deals.
An official renewal of the program is expected soon.
The five original cast members reportedly will make $1 million apiece, including Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayaar, who had been making less than headliners Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco.
Top comedy on broadcast
“Bang” has been broadcast’s top comedy for years – in fact, the last time CBS renewed the show, it did so for three seasons, it had so much confidence in the program’s longevity.
This season “Bang” has averaged a 3.4 adults 18-49 rating, according to Nielsen live-plus-same-day-DVR-playback numbers, down 8 percent from last season.
That’s CBS’s best show in the demo by far, with “NCIS” at No. 2 with a 1.8.
“Bang” also does very well in the network’s target demo of adults 25-54.
The comedy is important not just to shore up CBS’s ratings, which are down this year, but to the network’s overall strategy.
For years, it has used “Bang” to launch comedies, with the show giving those sitcoms a huge boost. “Life in Pieces,” “Kevin Can Wait” and “The Great Indoors” all launched off a “Bang” springboard in the past two years.
CBS also has a “Bang” prequel in the works about Parsons’ character, Sheldon.
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