AUSTRALIA: American TV Shows Take off with a ‘Big Bang’

AMBER VERNETTI WRITES – The Big Bang Theory, dubbed Australia’s favorite comedy by The Sydney Morning Herald, has been approved for three more seasons after a deal was signed between Warner Bros and Chuck Lorre, the show’s creator.

This is especially good news for Australian broadcaster Nine Network, which has used the American show’s well-established fan base to its own benefit. Playing as many as 15 episodes, both new and reruns, in one week to boost its viewership, The Big Bang Theory has been dubbed the network’s “saving grace.”

The Big Bang Theory

Following the extension, Nina Tassle, chairman of CBS Entertainment, called The Big Bang Theory “the biggest comedy force on television.” Further, according to The Wall Street Journal, in recent months, American shows The Voice and The Big Bang Theory have brought Nine Entertainment close in ratings and advertisement revenue to that of the highly-esteemed Seven Network.

The Big Bang Theory, which first premiered in September 2007, features four nerdy and socially-awkward men working in science academia with Johnny Galecki as Leonard Hofstadter, Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper, Simon Helberg as Howard Wolowitz and Kunal Nayyar as Raj Koothrappali. Kaley Cuoco plays Penny, the ‘girl next door’ who lives in the apartment across from Galecki and Parsons’s characters.

The contract between Lorre and Warner Bros will likely ensure Nine a healthy amount of episodes for viewing. Details regarding the actors’ contracts are being worked out as their current salaries, which range from $300,000 to $400,000 (in US dollars), may be raised substantially.

In a time when shows struggle to be renewed for another six months (let alone three years), perhaps Lorre’s negotiating skills stem from a respectable IQ, a trait he shares with the highly intelligent characters he created for The Big Bang Theory. 

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