News reports and words from the head of CBS had indicated “The Big Bang Theory” was on its way to a two-season renewal that would carry it through the 2018-19 season.

Monday, it became a done deal: CBS has picked up its top-rated show for two more years, which will carry it through a 12th season.

The renewal comes after reports that stars Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco took small pay cuts — from $1 million per episode to $900,000 — so that co-stars Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg could have the same salary under the new deal. Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik, who became regulars after the original five cast members, have yet to sign new deals but are expected to return as well.

“The Big Bang Theory” is averaging a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49 and 14.53 million viewers the night it airs this season. With a week of DVR and on-demand viewing its numbers rise to 5.1 and 19.4 million viewers, along with a 6.9 in CBS’ core adults 25-54 demographic.

It’s the top-rated show on broadcast TV this season in same-day ratings among adults 18-49, a tenth of a point ahead of “Empire.”

CBS has also picked up a spinoff of the show for next season, “Young Sheldon,” which will follow Parsons’ character as a boy. Parsons will narrate the show as Sheldon and is an executive producer.

“The Big Bang Theory” is the second CBS scripted series to earn a spot on next season’s schedule, joining the previously renewed “NCIS.” It also joins these shows in being renewed for 2017-18.

Posted by:Rick Porter

Rick Porter has been covering TV since the days when networks sent screeners on VHS, one of which was a teaser for the first season of "American Idol." He's left-handed, makes a very solid grilled cheese and has been editor of TV by the Numbers since October 2015. He lives in Austin.

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