CBS has announced a $240 million, three-season renewal of it’s biggest hit, “The Big Bang Theory.”
The deal is historic, as networks rarely renew series for more than one season at a time. While it’s common practice to strike multi-year pacts with creators and actors to insure continued involvement, deals such as this have little precedent. Two years ago, Fox struck a two-year renewal for “Bones,” a deal that ends this season.
The $240 million deal is for 66 episodes, approximately a $3.5 million license per episode, one of the richest deals on television.
CBS was recently in negotiations to raise the payment of the principle cast’s salary. Prior to the fourth season, the cast earned approximately $65,000 per episode; they currently make $200,000 per episode.
The three year renewal will take the sitcom through its seventh season, and the 2013-2014 television season.