It’s official: CBS wants a whole lot more of The Big Bang Theory. How much so? Let’s just say that there are almost 50 more episodes on the way.
The network officially renewed their #1 comedy through season 12 today, which should give the show 48 more episodes in total and keep it on the air until the spring of 2019. The entire cast for the show at present is expected to return. Deadline reports that neither Melissa Rauch nor Mayim Bialik have signed new deals to be back a part of the show, but they are expected to score substantial raises to $500,000 an episode or more. The other five main stars of the show — Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kunal Nayyar, Kaley Cuoco, and Simon Helberg — each contributed $100,000 of their own per-episode salary to help pay the two co-stars. That’s dedication to the show!
Does this mean that The Big Bang Theory will officially end with season 12? Not necessarily, but this is something that the network will think about through much of the next year or two given that the ratings (at least in terms of live+same-day numbers) are not what they once were. Also, twelve seasons is a long time for a network sitcom, especially one that features the same cast throughout. Two and a Half Men ran for that long, but it also replaced one of its leads (Charlie Sheen) midway through. We anticipate that the show’s future is going to remain a hot topic, but hopefully not one the producers are inundated with until around the start of season 12.
There are still many more episodes still to go this season, and we imagine that there are some further milestones that the show will touch on as it moves into the future. Could we get a Sheldon / Amy wedding? Could someone else have a kid? Will Raj finally get a new love interest? In one way or another, they are all questions worth exploring.