Chuck Lorre already is the showrunner with most current series, four. Last week, the prolific producer scored a first for a showrunner when all four ranked in the Top 20 among adults 18–49 — something no writing producer had accomplished since the introduction of Nielsen electronic ratings measurement in 1991. Ironically, Lorre’s biggest series, The Big Bang Theory (5.2 Live+Same Day), which ranks as the No. 1 entertainment series among adults 18-49 this season, had its lowest weekly ranking of the season, No. 6, with Super Bowl Sunday programming taking the first five spots. Lorre’s Mike & Molly (2.6) was at No. 11, followed by freshman Mom (2.4) at No. 15 and veteran Two And A Half Men (2.0) at No. 17.
Probably no network would’ve benefited by a football boost on Thursday more than NBC, which has been struggling mightily on the night. Instead, the NFL’s Thursday primetime games went to the network that regularly wins the night, CBS, with the biggest scripted show on television, comedy The Big Bang Theory. By snatching half of the NFL Thursday package, CBS ensures that its Thursday lineup won’t have to face football on another broadcast network. The limited scope of the commitment — eight weeks, half of the length of Sunday Night Football on NBC — and its timing early into the TV season (NFL Network got the late-season games) are expected to have lesser impact on CBS’ Thursday schedule than SNF has on NBC. That means that Big Bang Theory, which has been anchoring CBS’ Thursday lineup since fall 2010, most likely will stay put.
Two of the eight games will air before the beginning of the TV season, so CBS will launch its regular Thursday lineup at the beginning of November this fall. With networks more and more staggering their fall rollouts, that is not that late. (The CW has been employing an October fall rollout for the past couple of seasons.) CBS can use its fall-launch marketing dollars for the rest of the nights and then rely on football to hype its Thursday shows. I hear the promotional opportunity for the Thursday primetime football games was a big draw for CBS brass as they can get more eyeballs for the trailers of their new shows in the two weeks leading to the beginning of the season. Additionally, NFL football gives extra ratings muscle to a night where CBS already has been dominant and where advertisers traditionally love to spend premium dollars heading into the weekend.
Last week, the latest numbers for Modern Family‘s freshman run in syndication came out. The Emmy winning ABC comedy, which airs on USA and in broadcast syndication, hit new combined highs in all key measures, including households (5.1), Adults 18-34 (3.1) and Adults 18-49 (3.1). Modern Family now ranks as the No.2 program in all of syndication among 18-49 behind The Big Bang Theory (3.4) and is No.1 in 18-34. At the same time, the season to date rankings for all broadcast programs came out, and Modern Family is averaging 5.0 in 18-49 in 18-49 through the first 12 weeks of the season (in most current ratings that include DVR playback). That is not bad, as Modern Family is tied with NBC’s The Blacklist for No.3 in 18-49 behind Sunday Night Football (7.9) and Big Bang (6.8). But vs. the same 12 weeks last season, Modern Family is down 21%. That despite the show’s solid start in syndication.
The Quiet Before The Storm: Warner Bros TV Readies Offers To ‘The Big Bang Theory’ Cast, In Talks With CBS For New 3-Year Deal
For long-running series, time is usually not on the side of the cast when they have to negotiate new deals because ratings inevitably erode as shows get older. But that will not be the case with CBS‘ The Big Bang Theory, which, in Season 7, is still at its peak. Things are quiet and there has been no movement yet on the actors, but I hear producing studio Warner Bros TV will likely go out to the three leads — Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco – after the first of the year. The contracts of the trio, along with original cast members Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar, are up at the end of this season, as is CBS’ deal for the show with WBTV. I hear the studio and the network have started discussions about a new license fee deal. Like the last one, I hear the renewal will likely be for three seasons, which means the studio and the network would likely try to lock in Galecki, Parsons, Cuoco, Helberg and Nayyar for the same term. (Big Bang‘s other regulars, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch, recently closed new deals.) Like the last time, in 2010, Galecki, Parsons and Cuoco are expected to go first, followed by Helberg and Nayyar. (The former three are repped by the same law firm, Hansem, Jacobson, Teller, and are expected to negotiate together.)
There is no doubt about it — both the license fee and cast deals will be huge. After all, Big Bang Theory is the biggest show on broadcast television. The comedy is running neck and neck with NBC’s Sunday Night Football for the highest-rated program this season adults 25-54, averaging a 8.6 in the most current ratings to SNF’s 8.8. The way Big Bang has separated itself from the pack is staggering. Among adults 18-49, Big Bang averages a 6.8, with the next three series — NBC’s Blacklist (5.0), ABC’s Modern Family (5.0) and NBC’s The Voice (4.9) — almost two rating points behind.
In May 2010, a day after CBS announced Big Bang‘s move to Thursday 8 PM from its protected Monday 9:30 PM berth, I wrote a column, Is ‘Big Bang Theory’ The Next ‘Friends’? At the time, I felt the multi-camera comedy about a group of friends held the promise to become as successful as its NBC predecessor in the Thursday 8 PM slot. Big Bang has more than delivered on that promise. It is even more dominant than Friends was in its heyday, positioning itself to contend for the type of blockbuster deals Friends – produced by the same studio, WBTV — landed in its last major renegotiation for Season 9. At the time, WBTV broke a record for the highest license fee scored by a half-hour series when NBC agreed to pay $7 million an episode.
Modern Family debuted at No. 1 with women among all syndication premieres in more than a decade, distributor Twentieth Television noted today, citing Nielsen’s newly-released stats. The ABC comedy, produced by 20th Century Fox Television, debuted at No. 2 in households among all syndication premieres over the same period, with a 4.1 household rating — behind only The Big Bang Theory‘s fall of 2011 syndication launch (4.5). The numbers reflect the comedy’s launch both in broadcast and cable syndication. Here’s the announcement:
Coming off its highest-rated and arguably its strongest season creatively, The Big Bang Theory, which nabbed the Critics Choice TV Award in June, was a prime contender for the best series Emmy on Sunday. It wasn’t to be, with Modern Family repeating as a winner for a fourth time, but you can’t blame co-creator/exec producer Chuck Lorre for going prepared (or maybe he jotted down a few notes just in case after dark horse winner Merritt Wever’s train-wreck onstage appearance). At the end of Big Bang‘s seventh season premiere last night, Lorre posted “The Emmy Speech That Stayed In My Pocket.” It includes reminders to breathe and not cry and lists the people he didn’t want to forget thanking — the TV Academy, the fans, CBS‘ Leslie Moonves and Nina Tassler, Warner Bros’ Peter Roth and PR team Tammy Golihew and Susan Kesser, the cast, the crew, the writing staff including new showrunner Steve Molaro, and guest star Bob Newhart, who won his first Emmy this year for his guest role on Big Bang. The show itself wasn’t meant to score its first Emmy on Sunday (it brought home another award for star Jim Parsons). But there is time. Many hit multi-camera comedies had to wait a long time for their first best series Emmy. Everybody Loves Raymond was first recognized after Season 7, Friends after Season 8. So Lorre may want to …
‘Big Bang’ Co-Stars Mayim Bialik & Melissa Rauch Get Major Salary Bumps As Show Faces License Fee & More Cast Negotiations
EXCLUSIVE: The newest additions to the cast of CBS‘ hit comedy The Big Bang Theory have scored nice salary bumps. I’ve learned that Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch — regulars on Big Bang since fall 2010 having started off as guest starring-turned-recurring players on the popular comedy — have both renegotiated their current salaries, which have been in the $20,000-$30,000 range per episode. No one is commenting but I hear the duo will be making about double that, in the neighborhood of $60,000, this coming season, with their pay steadily increasing every year to reach close to $100,000 an episode by the end of their contracts. As a result of the renegotiation, I hear Bialik and Rauch, who play Sheldon and Howard’s brainy better halves Amy and Bernadette, respectively, also have added a year to their current deals.
The Bialik/Rauch deal is the first in what is going to be a big season behind-the-scenes at Big Bang, which, six years into its run, is firing on all cylinders creatively and commercially. Over the next eight months, Big Bang faces license fee negotiations as the series is currently renewed by CBS through this season, as well as contract negotiations with the entire original cast, whose deals also are all up at the end of this season. With the series doing so well and eying a potential strong showing at the Emmys this weekend, none of these is going to be easy. Like the salary renegotiations in 2010, leads Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco are expected to negotiate in one group and Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar in another. Observers expect Galecki, Parsons and Cuoco, currently at $350,000 an episode, to land north of $500,000 when it’s all said and done.
Deadline’s Awards Columnist Pete Hammond talks with ENTV host Melana Scantlin about the likely winners in key comedy segments in this weekend’s Primetime Emmys, including whether defending champ Modern Family can stave off The Big Bang Theory and other contenders for its fourth straight win as Best Comedy Series.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
With every passing year, it becomes tougher for a winning show like ABC’s Modern Family to take home the biggest Emmy prize. Family is trying to win its fourth consecutive series statuette, something that NBC’s 30 Rock couldn’t manage after winning three in a row from 2007-09. Standing in the show’s way this time is a formidable quintet headed by FX’s Louie as well as 30 Rock, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory (trying to win for the first time in its third nomination) and a pair of one-word HBO longshots: Veep and Girls. It’s noteworthy that the show that could perhaps have given Family the most trouble, the Netflix reboot of Arrested Development, failed even to land a nomination. However, cable series earned three of the six category slots.
Related: EMMYS: Drama Series Overview
This season was chock-full of special moments, including one in which Sheldon (Jim Parsons) spanks Amy (Mayim Bialik) and another featuring a guest appearance by Bob Newhart. Upsets happen, and you just never know. It’s tough for a show to win for the first time in its sixth season. Too tough, in this case. It’s tougher still for a series from the stable of creator Chuck Lorre, who gets less respect than he should as one of television’s most successful producers.
TCA: CBS Adds Extra ‘Big Bang Theory’ To Bolster Robin Williams Comedy For Battle With Michael J Fox
CBS has changed slightly its Premiere Week plans and will launch its Thursday with two back-to-back original episodes of The Big Bang Theory, from 8-9 PM on September 26, in an effort to drive the biggest possible audience into the premiere of Robin Williams/David E. Kelley comedy The Crazy Ones at 9 PM that night. CBS’ move is bad news for NBC’s new The Michael J. Fox Show, which is debuting at 9 on the first Thursday of the season opposite The Crazy Ones. CBS announced this morning at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2013 that, to accommodate the extra Big Bang Theory episode, it will push the premiere of the net’s new Thursday 8:30 PM comedy, the Will Arnett-starrer from Greg Garcia The Millers, by one week; it will unveil in Thursday, October 3 in its regular timeslot. CBS was the first broadcast network to announce its 2013-14 TV season premiere plans back in mid-June, with virtually all of its programs rolling out during the traditional Premiere Week, as is the network’s habit.