While the work of prolific TV producer Chuck Lorre can sometimes be divisive, it can’t be denied that the man has a long track record of success. In the mid-90s, Lorre created the hit ABC sitcom Grace Under Fire, which lasted for 5 seasons. Before that series had even ended, Lorre had also created the even bigger hit Dharma & Greg for ABC, which ran for 5 seasons of its own. In 2003, Lorre embarked on what has turned into an incredibly fruitful partnership with CBS, beginning with the creation of Two and a Half Men, which lasted a whopping 12 seasons.
In the years since Men debuted, Lorre has gone on to create three more hit sitcoms for CBS, the recently ended Mike & Molly, the fairly recently debuted Mom, and arguably Lorre’s crown jewel, The Big Bang Theory. Beginning with the simple premise of nerdy guy tries to land hot girl and comedic hijinks ensue, Big Bang has proven to have staying power beyond what just about anybody expected when its writers strike-shortened debut season aired back in 2007.
While now-married couple Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) remain a primary focus, Big Bang has become much more of an ensemble piece as the years have gone on, especially once Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) and Amy (Mayim Bialik) joined the regular cast in season 4. Initial comic relief character Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) also grew into a big-time fan favorite. Unfortunately for fans, it long-appeared that the currently airing season 10 might be Big Bang’s last, as the original cast’s contracts were all about to end, and there was doubt whether they would re-up. Thankfully, Deadline reports that CBS is on track to soon officially grant Big Bang a renewal for seasons 11 and 12, with the entire cast remaining on-board.
This isn’t the first time that contract talks have created doubt among fans as to whether Big Bang would return. Three years ago – between seasons 7 and 8 – negotiations with cast members dragged out through the entire summer, actually causing a delay in season 8 beginning production. This was despite CBS and Big Bang‘s production company, Warner Bros. TV, already having come to an agreement to renew the series for seasons 8, 9, and 10 back near the beginning of that year.
While Big Bang’s production costs are quite high at this point – reportedly nearing a cool $10 million per episode – it’s not hard to understand why CBS is so set on keeping the series around, as it remains the highest rated comedy on TV by a large margin. WB TV is also heavily invested in keeping Big Bang alive, as the series has earned over them $1 billion in syndication sales to date, and each new season of 20-plus episodes makes the syndication package even more attractive to buyers.
The Big Bang Theory season 10 airs Thursdays at 8pm on CBS.