The Big Bang Theory’s future has finally been decided as CBS finally conclude their deal with Warner Bros. Television, renewing the show for another two seasons.
There has been doubt over whether the show would continue past the current season - the show’s tenth - mainly thanks to the ensemble cast’s pay.
The original five members of the show - Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg - had to strike new deals with CBS, taking sizeable pay cuts so 'newcomers' Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch could receive more money.
Bialik and Rauch both became regular cast members during the show’s fourth season but have ‘only’ been making around $175,000-$200,000 per episode while the original five received around $1 million per episode.
Parsons and his colleagues, however, have taken a $100,000 cut to bring Bialik and Rauch’s pay more in-line with their own. Now, the original five will earn about $900,000 per episode for the next two seasons.
Those extraordinary numbers are only feasible because of The Big Band Theory’s popularity: season nine was watched by 19.36 million viewers, scoring highly in the 18-49 age range, the most important demographic for advertisers.
Meanwhile, recent reports have detailed a prequel - titled Young Sheldon and based on the early life of Parsons' character - is happening, one insider describing the project as ‘Malcolm in the Middle but with a young and potentially teenage version of Sheldon.’
The spin-off is expected to debut later this year, the first episode directed by Iron Man and The Jungle Book’s Jon Favreau.