According to reports, hit CBS sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” (TBBT) could well be extended for a further two seasons if salary negotiations between Warner Bros. TV and the star cast of the show go through without any hitches. Yes, seasons 11 and 12 will be possible if, hopefully, an agreement is reached over the star salaries.
Actresses Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch, who are on the show since season 3, get $200,000 per episode. The original five stars, on the other hand, are currently under contract for $1 million for each episode.
To bring some sort of parity, if you can call it that, the original five, Johnny Galecki, Kunal Nayyar, Kaley Cuoco, Jim Parsons, and Simon Helberg, have agreed to a pay cut on the condition that the saved amount would go towards increasing the current salaries of the two lower paid stars to $450,000 each, per episode.
It all depends, now, on Bialik and Rauch agreeing to the proposed hike. There is no confirmation, however, of any agreement being reached. The two stars could well negotiate for full pay parity and this is where problems could arise.
Ever since its syndication TBBT has grossed over $1 billion for Warner Bros.
The show had a slow start in so far as the ratings are concerned, ranking an unimpressive 68th in its first season and 40th in the second.
The third season, however, saw TBBT ranked as the highest rated show on its premiere night in the adults 18-49 demographic scoring a healthy 4.6/10 with 12.83 million viewers which was the series high of the time.
It achieved the highest rated comedy status during season four, marginally beating eight-year leader “Two and a Half Men.” However, in TBBT’s target range of 18-49 demographic, it was behind ABC’s “Modern Family” as the second highest rated comedy.
The fifth season opened with more than 14 million viewers and the sixth saw TBBT become the highest rated and viewed scripted show in the 18–49 age range behind only the NBC Sunday Night Football live coverage which was, of course, in a totally different category.
Season seven also had a strong opening keeping up with the trend set in season six. “The Deception Verification,” the second episode of the premiere, scored the new series high in viewership with 20.44 million viewers.
By the end of the 2012–13 television season “The Big Bang Theory” had taken over from “Judge Judy” as the ratings leader in all of syndicated programming with 7.1 with JJ moving down to the second position with a 7.0 rating score.
However, in the 2013-14 syndication ratings JJ regained its lead beating out “The Big Bang Theory” in that season.
Now, coming back to the question of whether the audiences would be treated to two more seasons of TBBT, Kunal Nayyar hinted at the MCM Comic Con in London in May 2016, that season 10 may well be the last for the hit show which started in 2007.
Look, next season, as it stands on our contract, could be the last season of Big Bang Theory,” he said. “To be completely honest, I know people are gonna want to know what happens after season 10. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Kaley Cuoco, however, voiced a collective opinion of the team saying, “I think it’s a given that we want to be here. That’s the overall consensus. It might be a sticky road, but if I have anything to do with it, we’d be here for much longer. That’s the goal.”