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Everybody put on your favorite comic book T-shirts, and set the bar up with some refreshments that don't get too much heavier than wine coolers, for something has finally happened with the future of The Big Bang Theory. After months of wishy-washy statements and concerns over contractual negotiations, CBS has at last officially announced the hit comedy has been renewed for both Season 11 and Season 12. Double the pleasure, double the Halley screams.
Since this is just the earliest of announcements, CBS didn't share a whole lot of insight into what the next two seasons of The Big Bang Theory will have to offer, although we have about a million guesses, and half of them end in "Sheldon says something that makes people feel uncomfortable for a few seconds." It's assumed that both follow-up seasons will retain the same 24-episode orders that the show has been earning since Season 4, though we do know that Season 11 and Season 12 will debut in Fall 2017 and Fall 2018, respectively. Not much mystery was there, but facts are facts.
And the fact is The Big Bang Theory is one of the biggest shows on TV, almost a decade after it first premiered. CBS had obviously been dealing with quite a bit of paperwork and details when it came to locking down more from the show and its ensemble cast, and while everyone casually expected Big Bang to get nothing less than one more season back in primetime, there were indeed some worries that contract issues would either delay things or cause some big changes to go through.
Those changes DID happen, only in a much different form than we expected. As some of the highest-paid entertainers on TV, the principle cast members for Big Bang Theory renegotiated their own contracts so that co-stars Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch could bring their earnings up closer to what the longer-term actors were at. Anything for the team, right?
For anyone wondering why CBS keeps Big Bang on the menu, the show has been TV's #1 comedy for five straight seasons in the key demographics, and it's been beating out other comedies in total viewership for even longer. In Season 10 alone, delayed viewing is earning The Big Bang Theory an average of 19.4 million viewers a week, with a massive 5.9 rating with adults 18-49. If contract problems weren't an issue, I don't think anything would stop this show from coming back year after year.
For now, there is still quite a bit left of Season 10 to come forth, so tune in for The Big Bang Theory on Thursday nights on CBS at 8:00 p.m. ET. To see what other returning shows, as well as new ones, will hit the airwaves in the coming months, head to our midseason premiere schedule and our summer TV guide.