Mayim BialikKaley CuocoJohnny Galecki Good news for fans of nerdy comedy, because hit sitcom The Big Bang Theory isn’t going away any time soon. The show has been following the ups and downs of a group of geeky friends for years now, becoming the most-watched scripted series on television. The Big Bang Theory is even getting its own spinoff about the childhood of main character Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), starring Iain Armitage. While some are starting to wonder how long this sitcom will keep running, there appears to be no end in sight.
Last month, the show was on track to get a further two seasons — and now, after some contract negotiations, seasons 12 and twelve have been officially announced.
THR confirms that CBS and Warner Bros. have closed a two-season renewal for the series. The five original stars of the show (Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, and Kunal Nayyar) have all signed new deals, while Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik are still negotiating their new contracts.
Rauch (who plays Bernadette) and Bialik (who plays Amy) are both still expected to return to the show — their characters have been around since season 3, and are a key part of the core group. The negotiations are in place to bring up the two actresses’ pay per episode, with the five original stars earning a reported $900,000 per episode, while Rauch and Bialik have been earning only $175,000 per episode. Recently, the original stars agreed to take a pay cut in order to boost the earnings of their co-stars, and although Rauch and Bialik are unlikely to earn quite as much as their colleagues, they are expected to get a boost to around $400,000 per episode.
This is fantastic news for fans of the show, with at least two more seasons to see how Howard and Bernadette continue to cope as new parents, how Sheldon and Amy’s relationship develops now that they live together, and whether or not Raj can ever manage to find a steady girlfriend. Since the show’s inception, it’s been great to see characters who enjoy more traditionally ‘nerdy’ hobbies like comic books, gaming, and cosplay, but the show has evolved to much more than that. Now, it appeals to people who want to see characters who are in their late 20s and early 30s, married, but not yet part of the ‘married with kids’ sitcom cliche.
Of course, not everyone loves the series, and even long-time fans may be starting to wonder how much longer The Big Bang Theory will run. There is no news on whether or not season 12 with be the final season, but that may be a good stopping point for the series. Should it continue much beyond that, there is always the risk that the show might well jump the (King) Shark. For now, however, we’ll be happy to watch this lighthearted series for another two years.