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CBS is currently home to the most-watched comedies on TV, but will be saying goodbye to the top-rated The Big Bang Theory when Season 12 is complete. Unfortunately, it looks like a similar scenario may be playing out with fellow hit Mom, which is currently embroiled in contract negotiations for stars Anna Faris and the Emmy queen Allison Janney.
Mom is currently on winter hiatus for its sixth season, and as it goes with many broadcast TV shows, both Anna Faris and Allison Janney had originally signed deals for six years. Now that those contracts' expirations are impending, the race is on to get the details squared away, with CBS execs reportedly wanting at least one more season of the issues-hinged sitcom. Alas, the network will likely have to pay a pretty penny or two in order to make that happen.
CBS is said to have reached out to Anna Faris and Allison Janney in the past month or so, in an attempt to suss out the contract situation ahead of time. The discussions have reportedly gone back and forth over price points, but according to Deadline, no end to the talks is in sight. It appears Faris and Janney are seeking more significant salary increases than the offers that CBS is making. No one involved with the situation is publicly commenting on the discussions.
It's reported that both Anna Faris and Allison Janney are making less than $200,000 an episode. While that's a fine payday overall, the two women's salaries are far smaller than those of CBS' premiere sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. That show had its own set of potentially show-ending contract disputes as well, first when getting the core cast members bigger paydays, and then again when later additions Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch sought pay parity ahead of Season 11.
Mom may only be in its sixth season, as compared to its more popular network brethren, but the show has proven itself consistent both in quality and in audience viewership. Also created by Chuck Lorre, Mom is currently the #3 TV comedy out there, both in terms of its average viewership and its average 18-49 demo ratings. It finished last year in the same spot, as well, just behind Big Bang and its spinoff Young Sheldon.
Since The Big Bang Theory is ending this year, Mom is primed to take over the second-place spot among all TV comedies. Losing that gigantic lead-in may take a toll, of course, but it's likely that Anna Faris and Allison Janney would rise above whatever tentative dips may happen. Such is the power of Mom's narrative and characters that the two women seem as if they can conquer anything.
Though it's easy to visualize Mom's contract negotiations working out perfectly to allow Season 7 an unencumbered development process, things could very well fall flat. The sitcom is already beyond 100 episodes, so there's less of a need to reach that syndication hallmark. Plus, CBS has been plagued by controversies of late, with Les Moonves' ousting and severance stipulations making the biggest headlines. His situation was far from the only one, though.
The network has also dealt with misconduct issues for multiple shows. From firing 60 Minutes producer Jeff Fager to firing NCIS: New Orleans showrunner Brad Kern to secretly paying out Eliza Dushku over alleged Bull issues, CBS is a network partially in flux behind the scenes. So perhaps once things get a little calmer in the near future, the Mom conversations can get figured out in a way that keeps Christy and Bonnie in primetime for years to come.