We will be seeing these nerds until we die.
To paraphrase Ben Franklin, nothing in this world is certain except death, taxes, and Sheldon Cooper.
Yup, The Big Bang Theory has been renewed yet again, this time for two more seasons. The new deal covers CBS’ comedy juggernaut all the way up through its 12th season, to air during the 2018-2019 season.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the five original cast members (Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Hayyar) have renewed their contracts already, and Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik are expected to return as well.
Last month, Variety reported that the five original stars had agreed to downsize their salaries from around $1 million per episode to around $900,000 so that Bialik and Rauch could get raises from about $200,000 per episode to around $450,000.
That Bialik and Rauch, who were promoted to series regular status back in Season 4, were making so comparatively little to begin with seems like an injustice – as does the notion that they could only get raises by getting their co-stars to agree to a pay cut. But that’s a conversation for another time.
Currently in its 10th season, The Big Bang Theory remains massively popular. In the era of Peak TV, when fragmented audiences have forced other shows to get by on critical acclaim and cult followings, The Big Bang Theory emerged as the highest-rated comedy of 2016. It’s doing so well, in fact, that CBS recently ordered a straight-to-series spinoff titled Young Sheldon, about Sheldon Cooper’s childhood in East Texas.
At this point, The Big Bang Theory has already pushed past the likes of How I Met Your Mother, The King of Queens, and Seinfeld on the list of longest-running sitcoms (by season) to get on par with Friends. Its 12th season will catapult The Big Bang Theory past Cheers and Frasier on those rankings to put it on the same level as Two and a Half Men.
On the one hand, The Big Bang Theory’s apparently endless existence feels like a tough pill to swallow when so many other, better series have seen their lifespans cut short by pitiful ratings, creative differences, or sheer bad luck. But y’know what? We’re gonna let Big Bang Theory have this one. At a time when the country – and really, the world – feels like it’s spiraling out of control, it’s nice to know some things remain steady.
Even if those things are Sheldon Cooper and his stupid "bazinga"s.