March 12, 2014

THE SKED: “Big Bang Theory” Isn’t Going Anywhere


CBS has reportedly closed a deal with Warner Bros Television to renew THE BIG BANG THEORY for 3 more seasons, which (pending renegotiation of expiring cast deals) would bring the show through Season 10.  This was a no-brainer for CBS, considering that Big Bang is by far the highest-rated non-NFL programming on broadcast television, and a particularly useful one because it can work in any timeslot, and even its reruns rate higher than the original episodes of most other comedies on the air.  (Because CBS will air NFL games on Thursdays during the fall, Big Bang is expected to start the season on a different night before moving back to Thursdays.)  If the reports are true, CBS even got the renewal at a comparatively bargain price of $4-5M per episode, about half of what NBC was paying for Friends at the end.  Warners was probably somewhat accommodating because the show is a massive moneymaker in syndication and on cable, where its multiple nightly reruns are usually in the night’s top 10–every fresh episode produced is just more profit for Warners.

Legally, the negotiations for any one show can’t be tied to the deal for any other, because they all have different profit participants,  But it’s probably more than a coincidence that CBS is also in talks with Warners for renewals of Big Bang co-creator Chuck Lorre’s other CBS comedies, Two and a Half Men (which would reportedly return for a 13-episode final season), Mike & Molly and Mom.  The latter two, if they weren’t part of the Lorre package, would be considered bubble shows, with borderline ratings (by CBS standards) around a 2.  However, Mike has been a valuable utility player for CBS, held in reserve until needed, and might very well serve that function again next year, and the feeling is that Mom has been creatively strong and deserves a chance to hang around.

Assuming all these renewals happen, and that The Millers will be back despite having the least trustworthy ratings on the schedule (because of its gigantic Big Bang lead-in), the odd sitcom out could be Robin Williams’ The Crazy Ones, which has faltered since its move to 9:30PM on Thursdays.  (However, the failure of Friends With Better Lives, which will debut on the Monday of How I Met Your Mother‘s series finale, could keep Crazy Ones in the mix.)

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."