CBS has picked up its hit comedy The Big Bang Theory for whopping three year deal, landing it a safe spot on the network's lineup until 2014. In other comedy news, Fox has granted freshman sitcom Raising Hope a second season after extending its first season run to 22 episodes in October.
The Big Bang Theory has been steadily growing in the ratings since it premiered in 2007. For the 2009-2010 season the show averaged almost 15 million viewers an episode, and viewership was down only slightly last fall. The Big Bang Theory was secured in a two-year deal in 2009, and the extension means that at least seven seasons will be produced.
It gets a lot of play for its depiction of geeky twenty-somethings, and often features commendable fan-service to the same group. In addition to consistent nerdy humor arising from its socially awkward, rocket scientist male leads, the show regularly recruits sci-fi staples like Summer Glau and Wil Wheaton as guest stars.
The extension granted to The Big Bang Theory further cements its place as one of CBS' biggest comedies. The show has roughly the same amount of viewers as Two and a Half Men, now in its seventh season and scheduled for at least two more. In 2010 The Big Bang Theory was successfully moved to Thursday night to spread CBS's comedy viewers around, and has remained steady.
Fox has once again gone to its dysfunctional family comedy niche with Raising Hope. The show centers around a 23-year-old single father raising his daughter after a one-night stand. Beside the off-kilter comedy (not unlike Malcolm in the Middle or Arrested Development), the reversal of traditional gender roles has endeared it to fans. The show has averaged more than six million viewers in its initial episodes, and was nominated for Favorite New TV Comedy in the 2011 People's Choice Awards. Raising Hope lost to the Twitter-inspired $h*! [Bleep] My Dad Says, which follows The Big Bang Theory on CBS.
Fans of Raising Hope can breathe a sigh of relief at the news. Fox is notorious for their ruthless attitude towards new shows, and comedies The Good Guys and Running Wilde were dropped earlier this week at the Winter TCA. Fox announced Raising Hope's renewal at the same event.
The Big Bang Theory airs Thursday nights at 8:00 PM on CBS. Raising Hope will return to Fox's Tuesday night lineup on February 11th.