It seems as if the Big Bang Theory universe is ever expanding, this time directly to streaming following the announcement by Warner Bros. Discovery on Wednesday that executive producer Chuck Lorre is developing a new comedy series “derived from” The Big Bang Theory.
The Big Bang Theory currently holds the record for the longest running multi-camera comedy in television history, having run for 279 episodes during its initial 12 season run which began in 2007 and concluded in 2019. The series starred Johnny Galecki (as Leonard Hofstdter), Jim Parsons (as Sheldon Cooper), Kaley Cuoco (as Penny), Kunal Nayyar (as Rajesh Koothrappali), Simon Helberg (as Howard Wolowitz), Mayim Bialik (as Amy Farrah Fowler), Melissa Rauch (as Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz) and Kevin Sussman (as Stuart Bloom).
Parsons, the breakout star of the show who was nominated for multiple Emmy awards over the course of the show’s run, was the one who was ultimately responsible for the show ending after 12 seasons when he made the decision to walk away, feeling his time on the show had come to a natural conclusion. Creator Lorre had previously insisted, via an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he would only continue with the show if the entirety of the cast was willing to continue participating:
I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of going on without the whole ensemble — and the whole ensemble is why we succeeded. In pulling it apart and re-approaching it as a fraction of what it was just never felt right to me. I’ve seen other shows try and fail to take a character out of their realm and carry on. And maybe Frasier is the only thing I could think of off the top of my head where it really did work, thanks to the lightning strike of David Hyde Pierce.
Why Would Warner Bros. Want More Big Bang?
By the time the show concluded, the core cast was earning around $1 million per episode, plus dividends from their ownership points on the show as part of their deals. The show was spun off into Young Sheldon, about the early years of Parson‘s character which is now in its sixth season airing on CBS. Young Sheldon is currently the most watched comedy on broadcast among total viewers, which follows the trajectory of the original show that gained enormous viewership numbers, particularly in the 18-49 demographic which is highly valued by advertisers.
All 12 seasons of Big Bang and the first five seasons of Young Sheldon are currently streaming on HBO Max.