Way back in the spring of 2014, CBS issued a three-season renewal for their hit sitcom The Big Bang Theory, locking the show and its cast in place through Season 10. Last week, the show returned to kick off the back half of Season 10, following its holiday hiatus, but there has been no updates about whether the show will continue beyond Season 10. There have been rumors to the contrary, that this could be the sitcom's final season, but CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller revealed today that he's certain the show will be back.
CBS held its presentation during the TCA Winter Tour today, where Glenn Geller offered this new update to Deadline. He revealed that the network will likely negotiate for a new licensing deal before talks with the show's cast will begin, but he expects the talks to ultimately culminate with another season of the show happening on CBS. Here's what the network executive had to say below.
"We are in negotiations. It is business as usual. These are going to be, I think, the normal tough negotiations when you're in a situation like this but we are guardedly optimistic."
The network executive has a good reason to be "guardedly optimistic," especially since the negotiations took so long the last time around. The three-season renewal was announced in March 2014, but it wasn't until mid-August 2014 that the deals officially closed. When it was all said and done, the show's three main stars, Jim Parsons (Sheldon}, Kaley Cuoco (Penny) and Johnny Galecki (Leonard) were reportedly worth $1 million per episode for Seasons 8, 9 and 10, nearly tripling their previous salaries of $350,000 per episode. The trio of actors also increased their ownership stake in the show, with each of the actors rumored to make anywhere between $90 million and $100 million through that deal alone.
Another aspect that could make these negotiations even more interesting is the young Sheldon prequel spin-off that CBS is developing. CBS issued a pilot order for the show, simply entitled Sheldon, which will center on a 12-year-old version of Jim Parsons' beloved character. The series is said to be a family comedy show similar to Malcolm in the Middle. When the project was announced in November, the network didn't have a writer on board quite yet, but there is already quite a bit of Sheldon's family history fans have been given over the years. During a Season 1 episode, Courtney Henggeler played Sheldon's twin sister Missy, and Laurie Metcalf has frequently appeared as Sheldon's mother, Mary. June Squibb also guest starred on a Season 9 episode as Sheldon's grandmother, affectionately known as "Meemaw."
The report from August 2014 revealed that each of the main stars had an option for Season 11, although Kunal Nayyar, who has played Raj Koothrappali since the show's inception, hinted in May that Season 10 may be its last. Of course, a lot could happen between then and now, but even if The Big Bang Theory is renewed for Season 11, it's completely possible that could be the show's final season. The series is still the most-watched scripted series on television, averaging a whopping 20 million viewers an episode in Live+7 data, meaning the show's live airing and a full week of DVR figures.