CBS may have already renewed The Big Bang Theory for two more seasons. But the continuous drop in viewership has some fans worrying about the fate of the popular sitcom. To be fair, the numbers were still good enough to be the week’s No. 1 show on broadcast television, but it’s comparably down compared to its earlier seasons.
The Big Bang Theory Season 10 finished first in both adults 18-49 (2.5 rating) and viewers (11.89 million) for the week of April 10. Empire, on the other hand, was a close second in the 18-49 demographic at 2.3 while Dancing With the Stars came in at No. 2 in viewers at 10.31 million.
The ratings are typically the best indication of a show’s likelihood of staying on the air. The higher the numbers particularly in the 18-49 demographic, the better the chances for survival.
Though The Big Bang Theory remains one of the highest-rated TV series both on CBS and network television, the ratings have been declining year after year. It alarmingly hit a series low among adults 18-49 with its April 13 episode “The Separation Agitation” and critics largely attribute it to the lack of interesting story arcs.
Caroline Preece of Den of Geek says the show has been in dire need of new blood for a while now. “With it getting difficult to remember a time when Bernadette, Amy, and Stuart weren’t part of the furniture, there’s been a sense this season that the writers may have run out of things to do with their regular characters,” she said. “That concern was only exacerbated by the apparently imminent cancellation and subsequent two-season renewal.”
Rising Cost of Production, Declining Revenue Growth
TBBT has also become more and more expensive to produce. Before CBS relieved anxious fans with a renewal announcement, many were almost convinced The Big Bang Theory Season 11 will no longer happen. The culprit? Production cost. The cast’s salary alone could be enough to discourage CBS from wanting to continue the series.
TBBT’s big three, Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, and Jim Parsons get $1 million per episode while supporting stars Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg receive $900,000 per episode. The said arrangement has increased the show’s production exponentially to about $9 million an episode–half of which is only for the actors’ paychecks.
There were rumors before of the management refusing to offer a raise for Season 11, not even fractional points. Indeed, we’ve seen none upon the announcement of the new contracts. In fact, the lead cast even agreed to have their pay deducted by $100,000. This is to make more money available to Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik since there is no room left in the nearly $10 million per episode budget.
The Big Bang Theory Season 10 – Will It Be The Last Season?
Of course, Warner Bros TV, CBS, and the actors have already closed a deal so we can put the cast salary issue aside for now. But if the decline in ratings continues, it may cap the revenue growth eventually affecting the show’s capability to continue production.
Then again, the show has been onscreen for 10 years now and they’ve been checking many major milestones off the list every season. The Big Bang Theory remains on top as well as far as viewership is concerned. We can only keep our fingers crossed that the promised seasons 11 and 12 won’t be scrapped off of CBS’ list.
The Big Bang Theory Season 10 is down to its last three episodes airing on CBS in April 27, May 4, and May 11, respectively.
Any thoughts? Do you still like watching The Big Bang Theory? Do you expect the show to continue beyond Season 12 or end there? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!