Ten seasons in, 225 episodes later, and The Big Bang Theory is still going strong. In 2016, the hit CBS sitcom was the second highest-rated show in America, after The Walking Dead. Following announcement of the TBBT spinoff, Young Sheldon, several outlets, however, predicted that it was only a matter of time before the show finally goes off the air. Several fans have also expressed disinterest in the spinoff, saying that it could end up having the same fate as Joey, the Friends sequel which got cancelled only after a year.
The Guardian gave The Big Bang Theory “a matter of weeks from reaching the point where Friends call it a day.” Understandably, for being on air for ten seasons, some episodes may feel lackluster and forced. It, however, did not stop The Big Bang Theory fans for watching every Thursday. TV By The Numbers reported that the sitcom had an average of 6.99 million viewers on average in 2016, making it the second most popular show after The Walking Dead, which had 11.27 million viewers.
But with Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper) and Johnny Galecki (Leonard Hofstadter) now in their 40s, The Guardian pointed out that The Big Bang Theory‘s original premise would not work as well. Perhaps, that is why CBS decided to go ahead with the spinoff, Young Sheldon, hoping that after TBBT comes to an end, they could at least keep some of the viewers.
The website, however, predicted that Young Sheldon will not be as successful as The Big Bang Theory. They claimed that it will suffer the same fate as Joey, the disastrous Friends spin-off, which Matt LeBlanc admitted was a show “doomed from the start.”
Over at Reddit, The Big Bang Theory fans were also not too keen with the news of the spinoff. They were worried that there may not be much story to explore and Young Sheldon could end up getting cancelled after one season.
“How is this gonna work? The can’t give him any significant character development without contradicting the series, not to mention how to make Sheldon an actually good lead since we know he was pretty annoying in high school,” redditor Marcos1598 pointed out.
Earlier this week, Entertainment Weekly confirmed that CBS has officially greenlit The Big Bang Theory spin-off Young Sheldon. The new sitcom, set to premiere in 2018, will reportedly follow a 9-year-old Sheldon Cooper as he navigates high school in Texas. Jim Parsons will narrate the show while Big Little Lies star Ian Armitage will play the young genius.
Although there were rumors early on that The Big Bang Theory will end after Season 10, several outlets confirmed that the show is far from over. Negotiations to bring the original cast back have been going on for months. Variety reported that Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler) and Melissa Rauch (Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz) were asking for a pay raise. To date, Bialik and Rauch were said to be earning $200,000 per episode, which is significantly less compared to Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco (Penny), Simon Helberg (Howard Wolowitz), and Kunal Nayyar (Raj Koothrappali). The site reported that the original five cast members were earning $1 million per episode.
Possibly to help speed up the negotiations, and to show their camaraderie, Parsons, Galecki, Cuoco, Helberg, and Nayyar reportedly agreed to take pay cuts to free up money for Bialik and Rauch. The original five agreed to take $100,000 cut in salary for Season 11 and 12, pushing Bialik and Rauch’s salary to $450,000 per episode, or $21 million for the two-year, 48-episode contract.
In 2013, Helberg and Nayyar successfully negotiated their contract to match Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco’s in the last contract renewal. Variety, however, predicted that Bialik and Raunch might not be able to negotiate for the same pay raise despite their contribution to the show.
Speaking to USA Today, Jim Parsons claimed that there is still a lot more story left for The Big Bang Theory. Even if the show has been on air for a decade, Parsons said that as long as the demand is still there, he would not mind playing Sheldon Cooper for years to come.
“Talk of ending does seem premature to me, even a decade in. If (the writers) remain inspired the way they have, then there’s not a lot to do but just have fun, because the scripts are a pleasure to put on,” he said.
Tell us! What do you want to see on The Big Bang Theory Season 11? Will you be watching Young Sheldon? Sound off in the comments below.
[Featured Image by CBS]