The Big Bang Theory‘s future is still up in the air, but the good news is that the series broadcaster CBS and Warner Bros TV, the production house, have started negotiating a new renewal deal. They had previously inked a three-year deal in March 2014, a couple of months before The Big Bang Theory Season 7 finale.
During the TCA winter press tour in Pasadena, Glenn Geller, president of CBS Entertainment, told Deadline that they were in negotiations, adding that the new contract talks are going to be tough. Without revealing details, he said that they were “guardedly optimistic” about Big Bang Theory‘s renewal for another season.
We are in negotiations. It is business as usual. These are going to be, I think, the normal tough negotiations when you in a situation like this but we are guardedly optimistic.
When he attended the TCA summer press tour in August, Geller said that they were “very confident” that everyone involved wanted more seasons of Big Bang Theory, adding that he knew that Warner Bros. would make those deal.
Along with the license deal, the contracts of the original cast members are also up for renewal after the current season ends in May. The actors have not yet started negotiating their contracts, according to Deadline.
However, The Hollywood Reporter(THR) reported that the Big Bang Theory stars had begun negotiating their new deals with CBS and Warner Bros for a potential Season 11 and beyond.
The cast of the series is under contract through season 10 and negotiations have been under way for months to bring the stars back.
Like last time, the salary negotiations are expected to be intense, and they could go down to the wire. In 2014, Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon, Kaley Cuoco, who plays Penny, and the actor who plays Leonard, Johnny Galecki, kept the fans on tenterhooks for months. They closed their negotiations a few days before the new production start date for Big Bang Theory Season 8. The original production schedule was pushed ahead because of the uncertainty surrounding the three actors’ availability.
Moreover, three years ago, Warner Bros and CBS agreed on a license fee that was around $4 million to $5 million per episode, according to Deadline. Also, the actors received hefty salary raises, with Parsons, Cuoco, and Galecki reportedly securing $1 million per episode for 72 episodes (Season 8-Season 10).
The actors are demanding salary hike this time, too, THR reported citing unnamed sources.
“The castmembers are all seeking pay raises from their historic contracts reached two years ago when the show was picked up for a three-season renewal.”
The negotiations are unlikely to hit a snag over money because Big Bang Theory continues to deliver high viewership numbers for CBS. The series is the number one scripted comedy series on television. The winter premiere episode of Season 10, titled The Holiday Summation, which aired on January 5, hit a season high in viewers, with 16.66 million tuning in to watch the episode, according to Deadline.
Meanwhile, Big Bang Theory co-creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady and showrunner Steven Molaro are developing a prequel series called Sheldon for CBS. This series is likely to focus on the younger, teenage version of Sheldon. Parsons is associated with this spinoff as an executive producer and not as an actor. He and other cast members are not going to make an appearance on Sheldon.
Speaking of whether Sheldon and Big Bang Theorycan co-exist on CBS, Molaro told THR that the prequel series was still an idea that he and Lorre were discussing, and they were not yet ready to talk more about it.
“I’m not ready to talk about it. It’s an idea that came up. At this point, it’s just still an idea that Chuck and I are talking about. At some point in the future, I’ll be ready to say more about it but we’re just not ready yet.”
The Big Bang Theory Season 10, which consists of 24 episodes, is scheduled to wrap up sometime in May. Episode 13, titled “The Romance Recalibration,” airs on Thursday, January 19, on CBS.
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