For television sitcoms, hitting the 10-season mark is a rare feat. It also tends to mark the beginning of the end, even for the most popular of shows. The Big Bang Theory, however, is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Today, it’s been reported that Warner Bros. Television and CBS Entertainment have reached a deal for two additional seasons of The Big Bang Theory. That will keep the show on the air until at least spring of 2019 and bring its season count to 12.
The future of the show was in some doubt, mostly because of how expensive it has become.
The main cast (Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Kunal Nayyar, and Simon Helberg) all earn north of $1 million per episode now. New two-year contracts signed by the five actors will keep their salaries at least close to that figure.
Supporting cast members Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch have not yet signed new deals, but negotiations are said to be closing soon. The duo had been earning far less than the main cast, garnering around $175,000 per episode.
Those cast members are now offering to take slightly less pay themselves in order to pad the salaries of Rauch and Bialik. The two are expected to make around $500,000 per episode going forward.
Just last week, it was announced that CBS and Warner Bros. were moving forward on a Big Bang Theory spin-off for next season called Young Sheldon.
The new series will be a prequel focusing on Parsons’ character as a youth growing up in east Texas. Parsons will narrate the new show and will serve as an executive producer.
With these new two-year deals, the production cost for each episode of The Big Bang Theory is said to be near $10 million per episode. That’s a steep price for a traditional multi-camera sitcom, but the payout is even higher.
Warner Bros. has earned more than $1 billion in syndication revenue from the number one-rated Big Bang Theory, and even more in merchandising rights. Of course, that doesn’t even include the amount that CBS earns in ad revenue.