The Big Bang Theory is close to getting a two-season renewal. CBS head Les Moonves has said that the announcement confirming Season 11 and Season 12 of The Big Bang Theory would be made soon.
The top-rated comedy series is currently midway through Season 10, and along with the cast members’ contracts, the license agreement deal is also due for renewal once the current season ends in May.
Recent reports claimed that the five original cast members; Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg, were close to finalizing their new contracts, while Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch were still negotiating their contracts. The two actresses were introduced in Season 3 as guest stars and were promoted to series regulars in Season 4.
On Tuesday, Moonves almost confirmed a two-year extension. According to The Wrap, he said while teasing CBS’ 2017-18 television season that they were quite close to closing the deal for The Big Bang Theory Season 11 and Season 12.
“We are very close to getting a two-year extension. We’re virtually on the 2-yard line, so I expect you will hear news of that fairly shortly.”
Moonves also talked about the prequel-spinoff, Little Sheldon. He said that the new show would follow The Big Bang Theory.
It was recently reported that 8-year-old Iain Armitage had been cast to play the younger version of Sheldon Cooper, who is played by Jim Parsons in The Big Bang Theory. And the producers have cast Zoe Perry to play Mary Cooper, the titular character’s deeply religious mother. Perry’s mother, Lauri Metcalf, plays the role in the original series.
Moonves has provided some details about the series that will focus on Sheldon’s childhood in Texas. He said that it was about a 10-year-old boy growing up with a “very right-wing family.”
“Picture him as a 10-year-old boy growing up in Texas with a very right-wing family, not used to this 10-year old genius living in their midst. It’s a terrific script and we have a terrific little kid.”
Little Sheldon will not feature any of the original cast members. Jim Parson is associated with the new show as an executive producer and will not be starring in it. The Big Bang Theory co-creator Chuck Lorre and showrunner Steven Molaro are co-writing Little Sheldon, and co-creator Bill Prady is also expected to be involved in some capacity.
In the upcoming days, one might get to hear more about Little Sheldon, which has yet to cast Sheldon’s father, his fraternal twin sister, Missy, and brother, George.
Meanwhile, there is speculation that Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik’s contract negotiations might delay the official confirmation of both Little Sheldon and The Big Bang Theory Season 11 and Season 12. Variety recently reported that the two actresses were demanding substantial pay raises in their new contracts.
Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik are currently making $200,000 an episode, which is way less than what Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar are taking home per episode.
Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, and Johnny Galecki secured $1 million per episode salaries during their last contract negotiations in 2014, while Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar, too, have started earning close to 7-digit salaries from The Big Bang Theory Season 10 onwards. All the five actors are expected to continue getting $1 million per episode if the series gets a 48-episode renewal.
To help their co-stars, the five original cast members had decided to take a pay cut of $100, 000 an episode, Variety reported.
In the renewal talks that began late last year, the original cast members agreed to take a $100,000 cut in salary for the prospective 11th and 12th seasons to free up $500,000 to fund raises for Bialik and Rauch.
If Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik split $500,00, they would take home $450,000 per episode. The two actresses, however, are seeking pay parity with the five original stars.
CBS and the production house, Warner Bros. TV were “positive” that a deal would get done soon, Variety reported.
The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays on CBS.
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]