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'Big Bang Theory' scores a three-year pickup

big-bang-theory-castImage Credit: CBSExcellent news for fans of Sheldon, Leonard, Penny, Howard and Raj: CBS has renewed its top-rated The Big Bang Theory for an additional three years, extending its run through the 2013-14 season.

“It doesn’t take a theoretical physicist to see why this show is a BIG part of our comedy future,” said CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler. “From ratings to critical acclaim to pop culture buzz, it’s struck a chord on all levels. The creative genius of Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady and the on-camera talents of an amazing young ensemble have created a comedy that will entertain viewers for a long time. We’re proud to partner with Warner Bros. on another highly successful, long-running comedy.”

Theory, which premiered in September 2007, finished the 2009-10 season as the No. 1 scripted series in adults 18-49 and the No. 2 comedy among viewers. Currently in its fourth season, the sitcom made a successful transition to its new Thursday time period, and has emerged as the night’s top comedy in viewers and adults 18-49. It is averaging 13.8 million viewers (up 7 percent versus the year-ago time period) and a 4.7 rating/14 share in adults 18-49.

Read more:
‘Big Bang Theory’ Central
‘Big Bang Theory’ salary re-negotiations: Do they all deserve the same pay?

CBS announces midseason debut of 'Criminal Minds' spinoff, plus a new night for 'Blue Bloods'

CBS announced its midseason lineup on Tuesday, including debut dates for the Criminal Minds spinoff and the new comedy Mad Love plus new nights for Blue Bloods and The Defenders.  Blue Bloods, the season’s No. 2 freshman series among viewers and Friday’s top program in viewers and adults 25-54, will move to Wednesdays at 10 for four consecutive weeks beginning Jan. 19 and return to its regular Friday time period on Feb. 11.

The Defenders, currently airing Wednesdays, relocates to Fridays at 8 starting Feb. 4.  Rules of Engagement will also move from Mondays to Thursdays at 8:30 beginning Feb. 24.

Here’s the full midseason lineup:

Wednesdays, beginning Jan. 19
8 p.m.  Live to Dance
9 p.m. Criminal Minds
10 p.m. Blue Bloods

Fridays, beginning Feb. 4
8 p.m. The Defenders
9  p.m. CSI: NY

Fridays, beginning Feb. 11
8 p.m. The Defenders
9 p.m. CSI: NY
10 p.m. Blue Bloods

Wednesday, beginning Feb. 16
8 p.m. Survivor: Redemption Island
9 p.m. Criminal Minds
10 p.m. Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior

Monday, beginning Feb. 21
8 p.m. How I Met Your Mother
8:30 p.m. Mad Love
9 p.m. Two and A Half Men
9:30 p.m. Mike & Molly
10 p.m. Hawaii Five-0

Thursday, beginning Feb. 24
8 p.m. The Big Bang Theory
8:30 p.m. Rules of Engagement
9 p.m. CSI
10 p.m. The Mentalist

Friday, beginning April 1
8 pm. Chaos
9 p.m. CSI: NY
10 p.m. Blue Bloods

Show descriptions: Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior stars Forest Whitaker, Janeane Garofalo and Kirsten Vangsness. Mad Love stars Jason Biggs, Sarah Chalke, Tyler Labine, and Judy Greer and is about four New Yorkers, two of whom are falling in love while the other two hate each other. And Chaos, which features Freddy Rodriguez, Eric Close, Tim Blake, and Kurtwood Smith, is a comedic drama about a group of rogue CIA spies in the Clandestine Administration and Oversight Services.

Fall winners and losers: 'NCIS' reigns supreme; 'Dancing with the Stars' is most-watched reality show

2010-Fall-TV-StandingsImage Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC; Justin Lubin/Fox; Richard Cartwright/CBS; Eric McCandless/ABCWe’ve already seen the death of six new shows (Lone Star, My Generation, The Whole Truth, Undercovers, Outlaw and Running Wilde, though Fox hasn’t officially canceled the latter) as well as the departure of some old ones (So long, Medium! Looks like you’re out the door, too, Life Unexpected!) So it probably shouldn’t come as any surprise that HUT levels among CBS, NBC, Fox and ABC (that’s “homes using television”) are down 3 percent this year (from 39.7 million to 38.5 million).

Does that mean there weren’t enough good shows to watch on the Big Four this fall? Glee, Modern Family and The Good Wife fans would probably disagree, but it’s never good when so many freshman series tank before the holidays. Here’s how all the shows ranked in total viewers from Sept. 20 to Nov. 28:

1. NCIS (CBS) 21.3 million
2. Dancing with the Stars (ABC) 21.2 million
3. NFL Sunday (NBC) 20.2 million
4. Dancing with the Stars results (ABC) 18.5 million
5. NCIS: LA (CBS) 17.4 million
6. The Mentalist (CBS) 17.3 million
7. Criminal Minds (CBS) 16.2 million
8. CSI (CBS) 15.9 million
9. Two and A Half Men (CBS) 15.5 million
10. NFL Sunday pre-kickoff (NBC) 15.2 million
11. The Big Bang Theory (CBS) 15 million
12. Modern Family (ABC) 14.7 million
13. Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) 14.6 million
14. Hawaii Five-0 (CBS) 14 million
15. 60 Minutes (CBS) 13.9 million
16. The Good Wife (CBS) 13.7 million
17. Survivor: Nicaragua (CBS) 13.3 million
18. Blue Bloods (CBS) 13.25 million
19. Desperate Housewives (ABC) 13.22 million
20. Castle (ABC) 13 million READ FULL STORY

'Big Bang Theory' First Look: It's geek versus geek!

big-bang-theory2Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

Who makes a better superhero, Howard Wolowitz or Raj Koothrappali? EW snagged this exclusive first look from the Dec. 9 episode of The Big Bang Theory in which the two characters (played by the brilliant Simon Helberg and equally hilarious Kunal Nayyar) try to figure out which one has the right (or should we say better?) stuff. They test each other with various challenges. We may have to go with Koothrappali in this one. Look at that intensity!

'The Big Bang Theory' salary renegotiations: Do they all deserve the same pay?

CBS

One of the more fascinating salary negotiations in TV history involved the Friends cast, when Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc chose to negotiate their salaries together, having decided that no one actor on the cast was worth more than the other. That pleased Warner Bros. TV to no end, of course, because it meant they could say, “Pay everyone LeBlanc money, not Cox money!” Even today, former execs from that era brag about how the actors left money on the table at the expense of keeping things harmonious on the set. (That might be true, but the cast’s friendships sure remained intact.)

Cut to 2010, when another salary renegotiation is winding its way through the halls of Warner Bros. TV. It just so happens to involve a comedy that’s pretty much replaced Friends in terms of popularity, critical praise, and its ability to generate millions in revenue: The Big Bang Theory. As is customary for any successful show approaching its fifth and sixth years (Bang is currently in its fourth season), the core ensemble of five have jockeyed for more money. Interestingly, three of those castmembers — Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki — initially decided to follow in the footsteps of the Friends actors by negotiating as one but, as first reported by Deadline, the Emmy-winning Parsons made the decision to break away and negotiate on his own. Lucky for Cuoco and Galecki, his strategy didn’t work, and now all three are earning roughly $200,000 per episode this season — up from $60k last year — and will see $50,000 bumps each year over the next three years, as well as a piece of the comedy’s rich syndication profits. READ FULL STORY

'The Big Bang Theory' scoop: Mayim Bialik talks about Amy making Sheldon jealous. Or is he?

Richard Cartwright/CBS

Thrilled that her temporary gig turned into a regular job, Mayim Bialik admits that working on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory has been “the most challenging sitcom I have ever worked on.”  Well, things are about to get a lot more difficult for her character Amy and her kinda-boyfriend, Sheldon (Jim Parsons). “We have an episode coming up called the “Helium Parasite Hypothesis,” it will be on in a couple of weeks,” Bialik teases to EW while attending a red carpet event over the weekend. “Amy starts to feel sexually aroused by someone. She doesn’t know what those feelings are. And Sheldon, we’re not sure if he is feeling jealousy, because he doesn’t know what those feelings are.” READ FULL STORY

Exclusive: 'Big Bang Theory' promotes Melissa Rauch to series regular

Talk about a genius move: The Big Bang Theory has quietly promoted the hilarious and very much in-demand Melissa Rauch — a.k.a. Howard’s main squeeze Bernadette — to a series regular. READ FULL STORY

'Big Bang Theory' Exclusive: 'Dexter' alum Keith Carradine cast as Penny's pa!

Though Kaley Cuoco’s broken leg will still be healing when she reappears as Penny on The Big Bang Theory, she’s likely to have at least a metaphorical spring in her step. Why’s that? Because Keith Carradine has just been cast as her dad! READ FULL STORY

'Big Bang' First Look: Eliza Dushku grills Leonard!

eliza-dushku-on-the-big-bang-theoryImage Credit: Monty Brinton/CBSYes, yes, I know this looks like a dream sequence: Big Bang Theory brainiac Leonard (Johnny Galecki) being interrogated by Comic-Con superheroine Eliza Dushku. But it is, in fact, for real!

In the Nov. 4 episode of the CBS comedy, titled “The Apology Insuffiency,” the erstwhile star of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Tru Calling, and Dollhouse guests as a READ FULL STORY

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on 'Glee,' 'Grey's,' 'Bones,' 'SVU,' 'The Good Wife,' and more!

ask-ausielloGot a scoop request? An anonymous tip you’re dying to share? Just want to say hi? You can send any/all of the above to ausielloscoop@ew.com

Question: I have to admit, I’m a little disappointed that it’s Cristina and Owen getting married in the Grey’s premiere and not Callie and Arizona.  Will you make me feel better by giving us some Callie-Arizona scoop? —J
Ausiello: There’s a major Calzona development in the Oct. 28 episode, but a Grey’s source assures me that it’s not a turn for the worse. So don’t go barraging Shonda Rhimes with angry tweets. In the same episode, a camera crew invades Seattle Grace to film a documentary about the hospital’s recovery in the wake of the shooting rampage. In fact, the entire ep will be shot from the POV of the crew, so if shaky-cam makes you queasy you’d best pop a Dramamine before showtime.

Question: So sad to hear that you’re leaving EW! So, to cheer me up, any chance you could give me some Grey’s Anatomy scoop? —Mary
Ausiello: The sublime Amanda Foreman, who’s currently recurring on Parenthood, will guest-star in the aforementioned Oct. 28 episode as (I believe) a patient. This is also the episode that marks the return of Mandy Moore and Ryan Devlin. BTW, you’re not getting rid of me that quickly. I’m still here for a few more weeks—plenty of time to get me a really expensive farewell gift. (Registry info is forthcoming.) READ FULL STORY

Update: Injured 'Big Bang Theory' star Kaley Cuoco returning to work!

Three weeks after breaking her leg in a horseback-riding mishap, Big Bang Theory leading lady Kaley Cuoco is getting ready to head back to work. READ FULL STORY

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on 'Glee,' 'Grey's,' 'Weeds,' '30 Rock,' 'Bones,' 'Smallville,' and more!

ausiello-glee-greysImage Credit: Adam Larkey/ABC; Carin Baer/Fox; Brian Cyr/The CW; Ali Goldstein/NBCGot a scoop request? An anonymous tip you’re dying to share? Just want to say hi? You can send any/all of the above to ausielloscoop@ew.com

Question: Let’s assume Chord Overstreet’s Sam is not a love interest for Glee’s Kurt, and Darren Criss is. Well, who will Sam be paired with? —Jeff
Ausiello:
I’m hearing single mom Quinn. But if you’ve got a better idea, the comments section below has your name written all over it, Jeff.

Question: Is Mike Chang going to get a solo on Glee? I’m swooning over his dancing (and now his abs!), but a solo would just be the icing on the cake. —Kraig
Ausiello:
He’ll get the next best thing to a solo in episode 4: a duet with Tina!

Question: With the Britney tribute episode and talk of possible Michael Jackson or Bruce Springsteen episodes, when the hell are the folks at Glee going to do a second Madonna episode? I want my Madge! —Dan
Ausiello:
Not this season, apparently. Word on the street is that the Super Bowl episode will be the last tribute we’ll see this season. Of course, given the record ratings the show got with last night’s Britneypalooza, the word on the street could change, and fast. READ FULL STORY

Update: 'Big Bang Theory' extends hiatus, Kaley Cuoco to miss 'a few' episodes

kaley-cuocoImage Credit: Monty Brinton/CBSFirst the good news: Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco is expected to make a full recovery in the wake of a weekend horseback-riding accident that left her with a fractured leg.

Now the bad news: It looks like the CBS hitcom will be Penny-less for more than one episode. READ FULL STORY

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