It seems that CBS isn’t quite ready yet to say goodbye to The Big Bang Theory. Speaking at the Television Critics Assoc. summer press tour on Sunday, CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl revealed that negotiations are already underway. “We don’t believe it’s the final year,” Kahl said. “We are in preliminary discussions to renew the show.”
The Big Bang Theory was last in negotiations after season 10 and that was when the cast agreed to seasons 11 & 12. The belief at the time was that this would bring the series to a close. As recently as January, series lead Johnny Galecki (Leonard) said, “I think at this point everyone’s very comfortable with 12 seasons being a good time to go home and see our families.”
The last negotiation round was reportedly one of the most difficult as Melissa Rauch (Bernadette) and Mayim Bialik (Amy) were both seeking significant raises. The main five were earning $1M per episode with Rauch and Bialik earning around $300 per episode. The belief was this was due to them being added to the series in season 3. Eventually, the main cast all gave up $100,000 per episode to be redirected to Rauch and Bialik to get them to their goal of $500,000 per episode.
With 255 episodes thus far, The Big Bang Theory has turned into a lucrative series for everyone financially thanks to syndication deals around the world. As one of the top series globally, the actors should all be making a significant amount off of their residuals. If they were to agree to the thirteenth season they would be able to push the episode count past 300 meaning an even larger ongoing revenue source.
The twelfth season of The Big Bang Theory will debut on Monday, Sept. 24.