We've been waiting months and months to learn whether or not CBS would sign on for new episodes of The Big Bang Theory. The long-running sitcom is currently approaching the end of a behemoth three-year contract, and despite good ratings, the show's future is still up in the air. For the last few weeks, we've been optimistic that The Big Bang Theory could get renewed for Season 11. However, there's been no official news coming down the pipeline. That is, until today, when we learned that the main cast on the show is in final negotiations for another big renewal. And by "big," we mean more than one season.
New reports indicate that Kaley Cuoco, Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg are all in the final round of negotiations to sign an additional two-year contract with The Big Bang Theory. If a two-year renewal does happen, it means fans are guaranteed to be able to catch new episodes of the show on CBS through Season 12. Deadline noted that the negotiations are a little bit different this time, as Nayyar and Helberg are negotiating alongside Cuoco, Parsons and Galecki, meaning that all five would get the same salary. This is a little different than last time, when Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg negotiated at a different rate than the other three leads.
The latest reports indicate that the main cast should be making a similar rate to the huge million dollar contracts the leads negotiated for last time. What that means for Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch remains to be seen, as both ladies also have to renegotiate new contracts. And as they have played bigger and bigger roles on the sitcom over the years, I'm guessing they are due for a salary bump, too.
The fact that negotiations may be ending soon is a big deal. Three years ago when the cast was negotiating, it took a really long time to reach a deal. We've been hearing both from CBS and the members of the cast over the last several months and a renewal seemed tentatively likely. CBS said the network was hopeful to make a deal and series leads including Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco had expressed similar sentiments. However, it's not ever really over until the paperwork is signed.
Honestly, a Big Bang Theory renewal could have gone south if any or some of the major actors on the series had bowed out or if CBS had wanted to cut costs on the long-running series considerably. (Think about it: the leads alone cost a million apiece per episode.) With Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons both dabbling a bit in new projects for CBS, it's easy to see how negotiations could have potentially fallen apart and Season 10 could have been the last. Regardless, that doesn't seem to be the direction The Big Bang Theory is going in any longer.
For now, you can catch Season 10 episodes of The Big Bang Theory on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET, only on CBS. In addition, take a look at what the Eye Network has coming up with our midseason TV premiere schedule.