“The Big Bang Theory” just wrapped its 11th season, and the first of two under a new contract signed in March 2017.
There’s been some speculation that next season might be the last for the show. But with its ratings still among the best on TV, CBS doesn’t want to bring the show to an end just yet.
“As long as [executive producer] Chuck [Lorre] and his team, Steve [Holland, the showrunner] and those guys think they have stories to tell, we’ll take it for as long as they want,” CBS head of programming Thom Sherman told reporters Wednesday at a press conference unveiling the network’s 2018-19 schedule.
“We would certainly hope to get a few more years out of it,” adds CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl.
The show is expensive, costing $10 million or so per episode, according to reports. But with lucrative syndication deals, it makes money for producer Warner Bros. (which shares the cost of production with CBS) and commands premium ad rates for the network.
“The Big Bang Theory’s” adults 18-49 ratings (2.7 in live + same-day, 4.4 in Live +7) have fallen off some vs. last season (3.1/4.9, declines of 12 percent and 10 percent). It’s still in the top 3 shows on broadcast in the 18-49 demo and trails only “Roseanne” in total viewers.
“It’s not slowing down,” Kahl says. “It’s in peak form right now, zero viewer loss from a year ago. It might actually be up when you add in the delayed viewing from last week’s [finale].”
The show averaged 14.04 million same-day viewers this season, virtually identical to last season’s 14.03 million. Through 22 of 24 episodes, it’s off a scant 1 percent in the seven-day measurement (18.82 million vs. 19.03 million), with delayed viewing figures for the final two episodes yet to be added.